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Full text of "Local records : or, Historical register of remarkable events, which have occurred in Northumberland and Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Berwick-upon-Tweed from the earliest period of authentic record to the present time; with biographical notices of deceased persons of talent, eccentricity, and longevity"

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1833 (Jan. 1). Owing to the genial state of the weather, Mr. 
George Smith agent to Mrs. Bewicke, Close House gathered a 
dish of green peas. Many fruit trees were in full blossom. 

January 14. The bells of St. Nicholas' church, Newcastle, and 
of St. Mary's, Gateshead, rung in honour of his Majesty having 
elevated the marquis of Cleveland to the dignity of duke of 
Cleveland. The dukedom had been extinct since 1774. 

January 15. The friends of Mr. Charles Attwood, the unsuc- 
cessful candidate for the representation of Newcastle, gave him a 
dinner in the music hall. It was calculated that nearly 400 persons 
were present. Banners and garlands were hung around the room, 
and the gallery of the hall was crowded with ladies. 

January 15. Married, Charles Bacon Grey, esq., of Styford, in 
the county of Northumberland, to Emily, youngest daughter of the 
late Sir William Loraine Kirkharle, in the same county. 

January 18. Died, at Kirkharle, Northumberland, in his 54th 
year, Sir Charles Loraine, bart. 

January 20. The cooperage belonging to Mr. James Brown, on 
the east side of the Tyne Brewery, Sandgate Shore, was discovered 
to be on fire. Considerable damage was done to the premises, 
and about 400 sets of hogshead staves, 300 single pipe staves, and 
several other articles of great value were consumed. 

January 21. The wandering piper, Captain Stewart, arrived in 
Newcastle, and commenced his tour through the streets, and was 
followed by crowds of spectators. He was dressed in a tartan 
coat and waistcoat, green spectacles and wig, and a Tarn o'Shanter 
bonnet. When playing in the streets, he endeavoured to 
preserve the strictest disguise, he never stood nor solicited money, 
but received any sum that was given to him. According to 
receipts in his book, he had given upwards of 700 to charities, 
in different towns he had been at. He was heartily tired of his 
frolic, which he stated would shortly end, as he had only to visit 
Morpeth, Alnwick, Berwick, Coldstream, Kelso, and Glasgow. 



1833 (Jan. 26.) Died, at the Keelman's hospital, aged 84, Mr, 
James Glover. He served at the memorable siege of Gibraltar, 
unli>r General Elliott, as captain's cockswain. 

Ja.niK'.i'i/ -2 :>. Mr. Robert Stephenson, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
engineer, had his new patent sealed, for his invention of certain 
improvements in the locomotive then in use, for the quick 
conveyance of passengers, &c., on railways. 

Jam/an/ 31. Married, at Carham, John Hodgson, esq., of 
Elswick Hall, and M.P. for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to Isabella, 
eldest daughter and co-heiress of A. Compton, esq., of Carham 

During this month, the Rev. A. Hedley, in clearing away the 
rubbish out of the foundation of a tower, on the western rampart 
of the Roman station, Vindolona, found about 250 Roman coins, 
chiefly brass, and of various emperors, many were of Constantine. 

January 31. Some quarrymen. near Durham, found an immense 
toad alive, imbedded in a mass of stone. 

February 5. Died, at Summerhill Grove, near Newcastle, Mary, 
widow of John Morrison, esq., Alston, Cumberland.* 

February 7. About three o'clock in the morning, a warehouse 
belonging to Robert Thompson, High-bridge, Newcastle, was 
discovered to be on fire ; but by the prompt assistance of several 
of his neighbours, it was got under without doing much damage, 
except the loss of a fine horse by suffocation, which had been 
placed in an adjoining stable. 

The Rev. J. Orange, formerly minister of the independent 
church at Barnsley, was installed pastor of the congregation, 
assembling in St. James' chapel, Blackett-street. 

February 13. An affray took place in the Shades public house, 
Grindon- chare, in Newcastle. A travelling Italian had gone into 
the house and joined a party who were drinking, when some words 
took place, which produced a scuffle, and the Italian, being likely 
to be overpowered, drew his knife and stabbed an Irishman, 
named Hugh Ross, in the abdomen, He was at once taken to 
the Infirmary, where he lingered until the 18th. The Italian, 
Guiseppe Sidoli, was tried at the assizes on the 23rd of the same 
month, and was sentenced to seven years' transportation for 

February 20. This morning a tremendous sea broke over the 
outer wall at Seaham harbour and destroyed everything within its 
reach. Six of the ships in the harbour were scuttled and sunk to 
prevent them being dashed to pieces on the rocks, and several other 
vessels were much damaged. Three sailors were lost by the 
calamity, and Mr. R. Thompson, master of the Friendship, of 
Shields, was drowned in endeavouring to save his ship. 

March 9. Died, at Felton Park, Northumberland, aged 63, 
Ralph Riddell, esq. The deceased was the owner of several 
celebrated race horses, and was highly successful, Dr. Syntax 
having won twenty gold cups, and X.Y.Z. nine. 

* Summerhill Grove is now near the centre of the town. 


1833 (March IS). Died, at Mitford, Northumberland, aged 100 
years, Mrs. Ann Jobson. 

March 27. As Mr. Buddie, butcher, of Newcastle, was pro- 
ceeding to attend Morpeth market, he was attacked, about one 
o'clock, near the six mile bridge, by four men, and robbed of 
19. 05. Sd. One of the men, on coining up to him, asked him the 
time of night, when the four instantly closed upon him, knocked 
him down and rifled his pockets. The thieves immediately leapt 
a gate, into a field, and were followed by Buddie and his dog, 
which attacked the fellows, and must have bitten them severely. 
The men ran across the field, followed by Buddie, until they came 
to a burn, into which two of them fell. On coming up he grappled 
with them, when a dreadful scuffle took place, during which two 
shots were fired at him and his dog, but happily without effect, 
he was severely beaten about the head. The robbers escaped at 
the time, but were afterwards taken and tried at Newcastle assizes 
before Baron Boliand, convicted, and sentence of death recorded 
against them, but the sentence was afterwards commuted to penal 
servitude for life. Mr. Buddie, however, for his courageous and 
manly conduct, was presented with a splendid watch and 
19. Os. 8d., the money he lost. 

May 1. A discussion, between the Rev. John Lockhart, of 
Newcastle, and Mr. Borthwick, the hired advocate of the slave- 
holders, took place in the Music Hall, Blackett-street, William 
Chapman, esq., in the chair. The discussion Listed several hours, 
when the show of hands was greatly in favour of immediate 

May 4. A fire broke out in the cabinet workshops of Mr. 
Thomas Sopwith, situated in the Painter-heugh, Newcastle, which 
were entirely consumed, together with a quantity of mahogany 
veneers, and all the tools of the workmen. It is not known how 
the conflagration originated, which was first discovered about ten 
o'clock, and increased with alarming rapidity, owing to the 
combustible nature of the materials exposed to its operations. The 
mayor evinced the most laudable anxiety, stimulating the firemen 
by his directions and also by his personal exertions. The fire was 
got under about half-past eleven. Mr. Sopwith's stock and premises 
were insured. 

May 5. Omnibusscs were first established to run between 
Newcastle and Tynemouth. 

May 8. A young man, named Lawson, a native of Alnwick, 
was bathing in the river Coquet, near Brinkburn, when he got out 
of his depths and was drowned. A companion, named Henderson, 
belonging to Morpeth, plunged in to rescue hfin, but he likewise 
sunk, and a third, who attempted to save the others, narrowly 
escaped the same fate. 

May 15. Newcastle, and the surrounding country to a great 
extent, were visited with an awful storm of thunder, lightning, 
hail, and rain. The atmosphere at the north-west assumed a 
threatening aspect early in the day, but it was not until five o'clock 


in the afternoon that the storm commenced. At that period a 
dense cloud settled over the town, the thunder was loud in the 
distance, and the explosions of the electric fluid, principally what 
is called " forked" lightning were so continuous as almost to 
resemble one unbroken sheet of flame for upwards of a minute. 
The rain began to descend gradually under a heavily charged 
atmosphere, with scarcely a breath of air. Suddenly the wind 
increased almost to a hurricane, and the thunder gave startling 
peals, accompanied by a tempest of rain and hail, such as is seldom 
witnessed in England. The hailstones were of an unusual size, 
and the damage done was very great. Seventy-four panes of glass 
were broken in the dome of the Royal Arcade. At Bensham 
upwards of a thousand squares were broken, in Ravensworth- 
terrace two hundred and twenty. The vineries at Ravensworth 
castle sustained the damage of 400 or 500. In the hothouses 
at Redheugh 2,070 squares were demolished. The storm did not 
reach the north part of Northumberland on the 14th, but on the 
18th a storm passed over Alnwick, when the lightning struck the 
tower of the church and did material damage. At Shieldykes a 
horse was killed, and at Chillingham and Lilburn a great deal of 
damage was done by the hailstones, many of which measured 
upwards of four inches in circumference ; they were mostly in the 
form of irregular pieces of ice. It is somewhat singular that at 
Summerhill and Westgate scarcely a single hailstone fell. At 
Sunclerland the storm raged with much violence and did great 
damage to the hothouses and dwelling houses in the town and 
neighbourhood. A house in Bishopwearmouth was struck by 
lightning and a female killed. At Durham and neighbourhood 
the storm was also very severely felt, and had, as in other places, 
destroyed several hundreds of squares of glass. A poor man, 
residing at Waldridge Fell, was struck by lightning and instantly 
killed. His wife and children were in the house at the time, but 
did not receive any material injury. 

May 15. As Mr. Tindale, a respectable farmer at Edlingham, 
was returning from the rent day at Capheaton, he was thrown 
from his horse, near the garden house, Wellington, and unfor- 
tunately had his neck dislocated, which caused immediate death. 
On Saturday, an inquest was held on his body, at Wallington 
New Houses, and a verdict of accidental death returned. 

May 18. Henry Fawcett, scholar of University College, aged 
20, fourth son of the late Rev. John Fawcett, Newton Hall, 
Durham, was drowned while bathing in the river Isis, near 
Oxford, in company with three other gentlemen members of the 
same college. 

May 18. As a proof of the mildness of the season, a nightingale 
was heard singing near the vicarage garden, Kirkwhelpington. 

May 22. During the restorations which were going on in 
Durham Cathedral, several fine arches were discovered adjoining 
the chapter room of the edifice, and they have since been com- 
pletely restored. 


1833 (May 22. ) The foundation stone of a new church in South 
Shields, dedicated to the Trinity, was laid by the Rev. James 
Carr, incumbent of St. Hilda's. It has since been built, and 
endowed at the sole expense, of the dean and chapter of Durham, 
and contaims 1,200 sittings, 800 of which are free. 

May 28. Being his majesty's birthday, it was ushered in by 
the ringing of bells and the firing of cannon. The Newcastle 
troop of dismounted cavalry mustered at the parade ground, and 
marched to the Sandhill, where they fired a feu de joie, they were 
afterwards presented with wine by the mayor and magistrates to 
drink his majesty's health. The Scotch Greys and artillery 
stationed at the barracks were reviewed on the moor, and the day 
passed off with the usual demonstations of joy. In the other towns 
round about similar expressions of loyalty were manifested. 

May 29. Twizell house, the seat of P. J. Selby, esq., was this 
day the scene of a joyous occurrence. Miss Selby and Miss 
Frances Selby were both led to the hymeneal altar the former by 
Charles J. Bigge, esq., of Linden, and the latter by Edmond 
Antrobus, esq., son of the Rev. Mr. Antrobus, rector of Acton, 
Middlesex, and of St. Andrew's, Undershaft, London. The brides 
were most beautiful, their dresses were lace over white satin, 
orange chaplets and white veils. An appropriate triumphal arch 
was erected at Twizell gate under the tasteful management of 
Captain Mitford, R.N., composed of evergreens interspersed with 
lilacs, &c. The cortege to Bamburgh church was splendid. While 
the party were at church, the servants and villagers were hand- 
somely entertained at breakfast, a barrel of ale was drunk at the 
gate, and many a cordial wish was expressed for a blessing on the 
nuptial rites. After breakfast the bridal parties set off in their 
carriages, the one for Dunstanhill, near Newcastle, and the other 
for the Brae, near Jedburgh. The day was fine, and will long be 
remembered on account of the lively feeling experienced by all 
the neighbourhood for the prosperity of the family at Twizell. 

May 30. Thursday, an accident happened to Mr. Adamson, of 
the city of Durham, veterinary surgeon. He was in the act of 
preparing some medicine for a horse, and had put a quantity of 
nitric acid and oil of tar into a quart bottle, when, from the 
accumulation of gas, the latter exploded, and wounded Mr. 
Adamson in the side; a large piece of glass was afterwards 
extracted. Two horses belonging to the Hon. and Rev. Dr. 
Wellesley were leaving the shop at the time of the accident ; one 
of them received a deep wound in the thigh from the broken glass, 
and the servant was thrown against the wall by the force of the 

June 8. The Eppleton colliery, belonging to the Hetton Coal 
Company, was won. The Hetton seam is seven feet seven inches 
thick pure coal five feet six inches, depth one hundred and fifty- 
five fathoms. The winning had been several years in progress. 

June 13. The largest number of salmon was caught in the 
Tyne that had taken place for many years. Between four and five 


hundred were brought into Newcastle market, and were readily 
sold at from 6d. to 8d. per pound. 

1833 (June 13.) Died, at Barnardcastle, Mrs. Hannah Todd, 
aged 103 years. 

June 15. A swarm of bees alighted on the head of Mrs. Gibb, 
of Todstead, near Rothbury. The good lady being a little alarmed, 
the queen bee was removed by a spectator into a hive, and her 
obedient flock immediately followed, without injuring Mrs. Gibb. 

June 19. A melancholy accident happened at the Short Sands, 
on the north side of Tynemouth Castle. About nine o'clock in the 
morning, Mr. John Smith, of Winlaton, and Mr. Hodgson, draper, 
Gateshead, went to bathe, and unfortunately got out of their 
depths and were both drowned. Their bodies were almost imme- 
diately taken out, but life was extinct. Mr. Smith was a single 
man, but Mr. Hodgson left a wife and six children to lament his 
untimely end. 

June 21. Three young men, William and Robert, sons of Mr. 
William Cuthbertson, of Newton Sea Houses, Northumberland, 
and Ralph Archbold, left that place in a boat for Dunstanborongh 
castle, to gather sink stones for the boat nets. On their return a 
heavy squall caught the sail and capsized the boat, which imme- 
diately sank, from the quantity of stones it contained. Robert, 
who could swim a little, seized hold of two oars, and contrived to 
keep himself in that position until he was taken up by two fishermen; 
but his less fortunate brother and companion were both drowned. 
Their bodies were found the following day. Cuthbertson was 22 
years of age, Archbold 19. 

July 16. A most magnificent brick-built chimney having been 
completed by Mr. Livingston at the alkali works of Anthony 
Clapham, esq , Friars Goose, on the Tyne, a little below Newcastle, 
Mr. Clapham, on the above day, entertained a party of friends 
with a sumptuous repast at the bottom of the chimney, to the great 
delight of his friends, who expressed their surprise and astonish- 
ment at this stupendous work of art. It was then the highest 
chimney in England, being 263 feet from the base, exceeding in 
height that of Muspratt's famous chimney at Liverpool by 38 feet, 
and St. Nicholas' steeple, Newcastle, by 69 feet. It is 27 feet in 
diameter at the base, and 7 feet at the top, which is finished by a 
stone coping. It contains upwards of half-a-million bricks, and is 
computed to wei^h nearly 2,000 tons. 

July 20. As John Kelly was descending the shaft of Hetton 
pit a large piece of deal fell from the top upon him. The shock 
threw him out of the loop, but his foot catching a chain in his 
descent, he was suspended with his head downward until he reached 
the bottom of the shaft. He was seriously injured. 

About this time there was discovered, a little to the eastward of 
the ancient church at Norham, the foundation of a building which 
appeared to have consisted of a number of very small apartments, 
the purpose for which has not yet been ascertained, but it is 
supposed to have been a kind of penitentiary for the punishment 
of refractory monks. 


1833 (July 25.J Thursday morning early a fire broke out in a 
small brewery, occupied by Mr. J. Armstrong as a malting, situated 
in a passage leading from Sandgate to the New-road, Newcastle. 
In a short time the whole building was in a blaze, and although 
the Newcastle and North British fire engines were promptly on 
the spot, the brewhouse was entirely consumed. The premises 
belonged to Mrs. Renoldson, and were insured. 

July 28. The whole of an extensive building occupied by Mr 
Mark Thompson as a raff yard, Pandon, Newcastle, fell to the 
ground with a tremendous crash, about six o'clock on the morning, 
in consequence of an immense quantity of railway bars having 
been placed against the wall next the street. Pandon is a common 
thoroughfare, but fortunately no accident happened. 

July. Dr. Bedale, of swimming celebrity, exhibited his aquatic 
feats in the river Tyne on two occasions during the last week of 
this month. Many of his positions and movements were very 
beautiful and scientific. Large crowds attended each day to witness 
the novelty of the exhibition. 

August. Early in this month two remarkably large swarms of 
flies were noticed at North Shields, proceeding from the sea in a 
westerly direction. On one of the occasions an opportunity was 
taken of estimating the height of the mass, which appeared to be 
about 21 feet by 8 or 10 in breadth. It was several minutes in 
passing by the observers. 

August 7. Wednesday, the neighbourhood of Newcastle was 
enlivened by the firing of guns and other tokens of joy, at the 
loading of the first vessel with coals from the low main seam at 
St. Lawrence colliery, near Newcastle, called Picton Main. The 
pit was begun from the surface on the 3rd of December preceding, 
and was completed to the low main, a depth of 94 fathoms, in the 
short period of eight months. The seam is in great perfection, is 
six feet thick ; and, as a proof of the spirit of the parties, notwith- 
standing that the coal work was only commenced on Monday, 
they raised on the following day upwards of 120 tons of coal. 

August 19. For some years past nearly all the moors in 
Northumberland had been taken possession of by large bodies of 
poachers from the adjoining counties, who not only carried away 
immense quantities of game, but even plundered the industrious 
farmers of their sheep and did wilful damage to their property. 
The overbearing insolence of those lawless intruders so intimidated 
the peaceable inhabitants that they almost might be said to have 
lost their right over and control of their own property. The 12th 
of August (the commencement of the shooting season) was again 
marked by the arrival of large bodies of these intruders, upon 
which the gentlemen and farmers then shooting on the moors 
determined no longer to be annoyed by them. Accordingly, on 
the above day, they divided themselves into two parties, and 
having ascertained that a body of the poachers would commence 
shooting at a place called Whitelee, near Carter Bar, the first 
party, consisting of about forty persons, on horseback, set out 


from Woodburn about three o'clock on the morning of the 20th, 
the second party also setting out for another suspected place of 
rendezvous. On the arrival of the first party at Whitelee, they 
discovered about 20 poachers ranging the moors, each armed with 
a gun, and attended with a dog. Immediately on being discovered, 
the poachers formed themselves into a military position on the 
ascent of a hill, threw off their coats, and, presenting their guns, 
threatened to fire on the first who came near them. A young 
gentleman present remonstrated with the poachers on their illegal 
conduct, but in vain ; they declared they would not be taken, and 
would shoot the first man who approached them. Upon this the 
gentleman alluded to rode over a small burn which divided the 
parties, instantly followed by his friends, and after considerable 
struggling, in the course of which the young gentleman's horse was 
felled to the ground, and he himself severely wounded, the poachers 
were completely overpowered and brought before two magistrates, 
who committed them to Morpeth gaol under the game act. 

1833 (Aug. 22J. Died, in Ropery-lane, Sunderland, aged 102, 
Mr. James Hall, mariner. 

Same day, about half-past four o'clock, when the tide was on 
the turn of ebb, Peter Duncan and James Blair were drowned at 
Hartlepool, on the north Sand, under the following circumstances: 
The two unfortunate men, privates in the Scots Greys, with a 
third, named William Wilson, having gone for the purpose of 
bathing, while the three were undressing, Wilson, observing there 
was a heavy swell on, proposed they should not go in, but Duncan 
and Blair, being good swimmers, persisted, while Wilson remained 
on shore to watch their clothes. When they were in about 80 or 
100 yards, and swimming close together, a heavy sea burst upon 
them, and they sunk. Wilson, on their not reappearing, gave the 
alarm, and assistance was procured, but before the bodies could be 
found life was extinct. 

September 1. The Ardincaple steamboat, on her voyage from 
Edinburgh to Newcastle, encountered a tremendous gale, such as 
had not been seen upon the coast for upwards of thirty years, 
When off Bambro' Castle she was struck by a heavy sea, which 
completely swept her deck and tore away the whole of the bulwarks, 
stanchions, and paddle-casing on the starboard side, carried over- 
board Captain Macleod, the steward's daughter, a soldier, and two 
other passengers (one of them a young seaman and the other a 
middle-aged man). Several other persons were overboard, but 
contrived to regain the vessel. Both anchors were let go, and she 
was brought up. Another sea then struck her, and the chimney 
and mainmast went over the side. Every exertion was made to 
clear away the wreck, and she bravely rode in the gale till near 
one o'clock the next morning. Too much praise cannot be given 
to a party of sailors who were on board, and to Mr. Pearson, late 
captain of the King of the Netherlands, who then took the com- 
mand. The vessel was perfectly tight, but, from all the skylights 
on deck being broken in and the engine-house completely smashed 


away, a great deal of water necessarily got into the vessel. Having, 
however, an excellent copper pump on board, the sailors and the 
crew soon got the better of the water. During the day two of the 
crew lowered down the stern boat and jumped into her, when the 
painter broke, and they were in a moment swallowed up by the 
raging element. About one o'clock she was struck by another 
most tremendous sea, when she parted from both her anchors, 
both chain cables having broken, and it was then momentarily 
expected she would drive ashore. Very fortunately there were 
some large tarpaulins which had been used to cover the luggage 
upon deck, and with these they contrived to make a sail, and they 
had the satisfaction to find she was going off the land with them. 
They soon cleared her of the water she had shipped, and steered 
immediately for a good anchorage under the lee of the Farn 
Islands, where they saw several vessels lying in smooth water, and 
among the rest a revenue cutter (supposed to be the Mermaid), and 
notwithstanding guns were fired from the Ardincaple, the bell 
rung, and every exertion made, they inhumanly took no notice of 
the vessel, but suffered her to pass within a very short distance ; 
indeed she was in their view the whole of the preceding day. But 
a cod smack, which was riding inside the cutter, having heard 
the signals, immediately slipped her cables and came down to their 
assistance. About 5 o'clook they were taken in tow by the smack 
and the passengers were removed into her for safety. She was 
towed up by the smack to Shields, where she got into the harbour 
next morning. The passengers were all landed in the evening by 
the crew of a boat from Cullercoats, who, seeing her distress, 
gallantly put off, at the hazard of their lives, to their assistance. 

1833 (September 3.J A most diabolical attempt was made on 
the night of this day, by setting fire to a house belonging to Lord 
Ravensworth, on Thrunton moor, not only to destroy the property, 
but to sacrifice the lives of the inmates. A reward of twenty 
pounds was offered for the discovery of the perpetrators. 

September 6. Four stacks of wheat, two stacks of hay, a stack 
of straw, a thrashing machine, a cow byre, and various other out 
premises, the property of Mr. Matthew Collins, of Monckton, in 
the parish of Jarrow, in the county of Durham, were wilfully set 
on fire and completely destroyed. Two hundred and fifty pounds 
reward was offered, and a free pardon to any accomplice, not 
having been the actual incendiaries, for the apprehension and 
conviction of the offender or offenders. 

September 18. Twenty-five French boats engaged in the her- 
ring trade, were driven ashore on the coast near Newton-by-the- 
Sea, Northumberland ; twelve of them were got off, but the others 
became wrecks. Their crews, consisting of about 180 men, were 
all saved. Shaftoe Craster, esq., of Craster, with his usual bene- 
volence, supplied them with both money and victuals, they also 
received great hospitality and assistance from several other gentle- 
men of the neighbourhood, and were enabled to return to their 


1833 (September 23 .) Died, at Greta Bridge, Yorkshire, in the 
71st year of his age, James Losh, esq., of Jesmond Grove, recorder of 
Newcastle. Mr. Losh was horn at Woodside, near Carlisle, received 
his school education under the Rev. Mr. Gaskin, of Wreay, and 
afterwards under Mr. Dawson, of Sedburgh, from whence he 
removed to Cambridge, after which he entered Lincoln's Inn, and 
in due time was called to the bar. In 1797, he settled at New- 
castle, and in the following year married Cecilia, daughter of the 
Rev. Dr. Baldwin, of Aldhigham, Lancashire, by whom he left five 
sons and three daughters. In 1810, he greatly assisted in the 
establishment of the jubilee schools ; subsequently he interested 
himself in the formation of infant schools, and in the beginning of 
the year of 1883, he ably advocated the scheme for a collegiate 
education at Newcastle, the friends of which have to lament his 
loss in a more especial manner. The sensation excited by the event 
in this neighbourhood was great and extensive, all political differ- 
ences appearing to have at once subsided, and every one feeling 
that society had lost an active, eminent, and useful member ; the 
public institutions, charitable, educational, and literary, a warm 
and enlightened supporter ; a numerous circle of friends, an inti- 
mate and kind associate, a judicious adviser, and a ready helper; 
and the poor a most liberal benefactor. His exertions to promote 
the education, particularly the religious education of the lower 
classes, were manifested at an early age. His remains were 
interred at Gosforth on the 3rd of October, and wore followed to 
the grave by the mayor and corporation of Newcastle, the 
members of the legal profession, the members of the literary and 
philosopical society headed by Sir Matthew W. Ridley, bart., the 
mechanics' institute, the anti-slavery society, and then followed 
the members of the Unitarian congregation in Hanover-square, 
with whom the deceased had for many years been on terms of the 
most friendly communion. Several burgesses and corporate 
officers succeeded, and the procession was closed by twenty to 
thirty carriages. The crowds of respectable spectators on either 
side of the road were immense for the first three-quarters of a 
mile, and great numbers accompanied the procession to the church, 
where, about twelve o'clock, the body was received by the Rev. 
J. Walker, M.A., incumbent. The interior of the church was 
crowded in every part, and its appearance had at this time a 
peculiarly solemn effect. After the usual preliminary services had 
been gone through, the whole assembly proceeded to the grave, 
where the remaining ceremonies were performed, and the tomb 
finally closed over one who when living was included amongst the 
greatest benefactors of this town and neighbourhood, and to whom 
his relations and more intimate friends had, on this occasion, the 
melancholy satisfaction of seeing the public testifying, with one 
accord, their gratitude for his exertions, and their esteem for his 

October 6. Sunday evening, owing to the density of the mist, 
one of the steam-boats plying between Newcastle and Shields 


grounded a little below Walker, where she was unfortunately 
obliged to remain till the following morning, to the great annoy- 
ance of the passengers, who spent, as may well be conceived, a 
most anxious and uncomfortable night. 

1833 (October 7.) Died at Percy Main, aged 101 and five months, 
Isabella, widow of Mr. John Thompson, horse-keeper, at Percy 
Main colliery. She was a native of Tanfield. 

October 12. The following advertisement appeared in the 
Newcastle Courant : This is to give notice that that gifted man, 
George Farn, (goose merchant), has been preaching the gospel 
under the sanction of the mayors of Kipon and Newcastle, having 
his character signed by a member of parliament, and has been 
received with great attention by thousands of people, and is allowed 
to be a great doctor of divinity, a man teached by the spirit of 
God. This singular man will preach at Gosforth, on Sunday 
first, in the open air. 

October 28. Mr. H. L. Pattison obtained a patent for " an 
improved method of separating silver from lead." Mr. Pattison's 
process was first introduced at the Langley smelt mills, near 
Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, and has since been brought into 
extensive operation in the various lead districts of the kingdom. 

October 31. Fortunatus Dvvarris, and S. A. Rumball, two of 
the commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of municipal 
corporations in England and Wales, commenced their labours soon 
after noon on the above day in the Guildhall, Newcastle, which 
had been granted for the purpose. The corporation was repre- 
sented by John Clayton, esq., town clerk, the stewards of the 
incorporated companies by Mr. John Brown, their solicitor ; the 
burgesses by Mr. William Garrett, Mr. G. T. Gibson and others ; 
and the non-burgesses by Mr. Thomas Carr, Mr. T. Willis, and 
Mr. William Kell. 

November 1. During a high wind, two houses in Dundas-street, 
Monkwearmouth, were blown down. 

Same day, an explosion of fire damp occurred at Black Fell 
colliery, near Chester-le-street, by which three wastemen lost their 
lives, namely, Robert Forster, W. Lamb, and Stephen Campbell. 

November 5. A party of visitors at Chillingham castle, accom- 
panied by the keeper, went into the park for the purpose of shooting 
one of the wild cattle, and whilst the keepers were reconnoitering 
their position, one of the cattle made a sudden rush, when Barnes, 
the gamekeeper, unfortunately fell down, and the animal threw 
him twice over his head and gored him very much. The infuriated 
animal was ultimately driven off by a deerhound, and despatched 
by a volley from the party. Barnes was conveyed home in a 
dangerous state, and every attention paid him by the noble earl 
and his family. 

November 15. A daring attempt at highway robbery took place 
in the evening of Hexham fair, on the person of a gentleman 
named Weddell, who was attacked near Chollerford by three 
footpads ; one of them seized the bridle of his horse, but was 


instantly knocked down. Another made a similar attempt, but 
shared the same fate. Mr. Weddell not being able to get his horse 
to move, dismounted, and after giving the robbers a severe beating, 
rode off ; but, on arriving at Chollerford, found that his horse had 
been severely stabbed, apparently with a sword. 

1833 (November 16.) Died, at Bagnalstown, county Kilkenny, 
aged 28, the Honourable Frederick George Howard, M.P. for the 
borough of Morpeth, Northumberland, captain of the 90th regi- 
ment, and second son of the earl of Carlisle. On the previous day 
he left the barracks, near Kilkenny, in a curricle, accompanied by 
two of his brother officers, and was proceeding to visit a detach- 
ment of the regiment quartered at Newtonbury. The horse from 
some cause took fright and ran away. Captain Howard, in 
attempting to leap out, was thrown with great violence upon his 
head, which caused an effusion of blood on the brain. Captain 
Howard was promoted to a company the 10th of March, 1827. 

November 20. The town of Morpeth, Northumberland, was 
lighted with gas for the first time, to^the great satisfaction of the 

November 21. A rare species of fish, known as the Sparus 
Dentrex, was captured in the Cambois burn, near Blyth. It 
measured 5 feet 6 inches in length, and weighed 791b. 

November 22. Died, at Fairshield, Northumberland, aged 101, 
Mrs. Margaret Brammer. 

On the same day, at an early hour in the morning, Mrs. 
McGregor, whose husband was in the service of Mr. Abbott, of 
Gateshead, was delivered of a daughter on board the Ardincaple 
steamer, while she lay at anchor under Dunstanborough castle. 
In commemoration of the occurrence the child was christened 
Elizabeth Ardincaple Dunstanborough McGregor. 

November 23. An explosion of fire-damp took place at the 
Low Moorsley pit, near Houghton-le-Spring, in the county of 
Durham. Mr. Appleby, viewer, Mr. Dawson, overman, and four 
men were dreadfully burnt. 

November 23. Died, at Byker Buildings, aged 103, much re- 
gretted, Mrs. Elizabeth Wallas. 

November 27. John Gibson, engineman at Wideopen colliery, 
about five miles from Newcastle, lost his life by the bursting of a 
boiler, about nine o'clock at night. There were two other boilers 
alongside the one which burst, neither of which were much injured. 
The boiler which exploded, weighing six to seven tons, was blown 
to some distance. 

December t). Died, at the Shaws, near Hexham, aged 90, Mr. 
John Charlton. It is somewhat remarkable, that his mother, 
Eleanor Charlton, died at the age of 99 ; her sister, Elizabeth, at 
102 ; their brothers, John Robson at 102, and Mr. James Robson, 
94 ; united ages, 397. 

December 10. The large bell, bequeathed to the parish of St. 
Nicholas, Newcastle, by the late Major Anderson, was hoisted up 
to the belfry. The diameter of the bell across the mouth is six 


feet five inches, its length inside, from top to bottom, is four feet 
ten inches, its total weight is about seventy-two cwt. The bell 
was cast at the foundry of Sir Robt. Shafto Hawks, & Co., by 
James Harrison, of Barton-upon-Humber. On the preceding 
Thursday, the bell was christened by Mr. Harrison, the founder, 
previous to its removal to the church, on which occasion a party of 
twenty of the workmen were comfortably seated within the bell, 
where they drank three gallons of ale, after which ten others 
entered it, making thirty persons within it at the same time. The 
name given to the bell was " The Major." Whilst in the porch of 
St. Nicholas, a shoemaker made the greater portion of a shoe in it, 
on Monday afternoon. 

1833 (December 19J. A melancholy accident occurred at the 
buildings erecting by Mr. Grainger, at Leazes-terrace, Newcastle. 
While six of the workmen were walking along the scaffolding, at a 
considerable height, with a large head-stone, one of the supporters 
gave way, by which means they were all precipitated to the ground. 
William Murray was killed on the spot ; Robert Cunningham died 
shortly afterwards at the Infirmary ; a third had his leg broken ; 
another his thigh bone, and the two others severely bruised. It 
did not appear that blame could be attached to any one for the 

December 23. A hare was killed in Pilgrim-street, Newcastle, 
by the hounds belonging to Mr. J. G. Clark. It was put up 
behind Kenton lodge, ran thence to Gosforth, thence to the Grand 
Stand, afterwards across the Moor into Pilgrim-street. 

December 23. Robert William Brandling, esq., of Low Gosforth, 
near Newcastle, obtained a patent for improvements in applying 
steam and other powers to ships, boats, &c. 

1834 (January 1). Early this morning, the body of an old 
woman was found in the ditch adjoining the Newcastle race 
course. The deceased was in the habit of travelling round the 
villages in the neighbourhood, collecting rags, and was well known 
by the name of " Radical Betty" and it was supposed that during 
the preceding evening, she had been returning to her residence in 
Sandgate, and, from the inclemency of the weather perished on 
the moor. 

January 8. Died, at North Shields, aged 103, Elizabeth, widow 
of Mr. Thomas Hill, mariner, formerly well known under the 
appellation of the " lady wife," she being the person who gave 
information to the seamen's wives, on the arrival of their husbands 
at Shields bar. She was married at the age of 17, and lived some 
years in London, during the reign of George II. She survived 
her husband 58 years, 

January 10. The servant of Mr. Angus, farmer, at Hindly, 
between Newcastle and Hexham, was crossing the Tyne with a 
cart and two valuable horses, they were carried away by the 
violence of the stream, which was much swollen by the late rains, 
and lost in the sight of several individuals, who could not render 
them any assistance. 


1834 (January II.) Died, at Monkwearinouth, aged 100, Mrs. 
Margaret George. 

January 14. A large party of poachers were discovered in the 
immediate vicinity of Ravensworth castle. The Honourable H. 
T. Liddell and a few servants sallied forth to endeavour to drive 
them off, when they were violently attacked by the poachers, who 
were all armed and in military training, each man answering to a 
number. The butler had a very narrow escape for his life, but 
John Bell, farm servant to Lord Ravensworth, was severely 
wounded in the hip and groin, of which he afterwards died. It is 
only proper to say, Mr. Liddell and his party had no arms. A 
reward was offered for the discovery of the depredators. 

January 15. Died, in the Tuthill-stairs, Newcastle, aged 65, 
Mr. William Fifefield, a man of colour, and a native of the West 
Indies. He had resided in that town nearly forty years, and had 
filled the situation of drummer in various local regiments. He 
was afterwards the owner of a "comfortable," plying between 
Newcastle and Shields, and was well known and respected in both 

January 16. The first cargo of coals from Crowtrees' Wallsend 
colliery was shipped at the Clarence Railway Company's station, at 
Stockton, on board the brig Elizabeth, for London. 

January 21. Early this day, a large quantity of farm produce 
was destroyed by fire in two separate farmyards, near the village 
of Offerton, in the county of Durham, belonging to Mr. Thomas 
Elliott, of that place, farmer. On the alarm being given the whole 
of the inhabitants of the village, as well as those of Hilton, were 
thrown into the greatest consternation, and a message was 
despatched to Sunderland for assistance. A detachment of military 
was immediately sent off with the fire engine kept at the barracks, 
which arrived about six o'clock, and shortly after, the two Sunderland 
parish fire engines, as well as one from Lord Durham's colliery, 
reached the spot, but unfortunately too late to save the property 
from destruction, the whole, consisting of eighteen corn stacks and 
three large hay stacks, being consumed. The manner in which the 
stack, which communicated flame to the others, had been fired, left 
little doubt of its being the work of an incendiary. His majesty's 
pardon and a reward of three hundred pounds were offered for the 
discovery of the offenders. 

January 21. The Earl of Durham, with his usual hospitality, 
being Provincial Grand Master of that county, invited the whole 
fraternity of the province to dinner at Lambton Castle. The 
brethren of the different local lodges assembled in the library and 
picture gallery at twelve o'clock, and at half-past twelve the grand 
lodge was opened in the saloon, which was fitted up by Sir Cuthbert 
Sharp, as Deputy Provincial Grand Master, who rose on behalf of 
the assembled brethren, and in very appropriate terms presented 
the noble earl with a splendid gold medal, ornamented with masonic 
emblems set in brilliants, as a mark of the deep sense they enter- 
tained of his lordship's services, and their admiration of his public 


and private character. The noble earl acknowledged the tribute 
in an address of considerable length, replete with the warmest 
expressions of kindness and regard. A splendid suite of apartments 
in the castle, the gardens and conservatory, were all thrown open 
for the accommodation and entertainment of the company, and his 
lordship, accompanied by his countess, promenaded on the terrace, 
conversing in the most affable manner with the guests. At a late 
hour the brethren took their leave, highly delighted with the 
urbanity of the noble earl, and his unwearied assiduity in promoting 
their comfort and gratification. 

1834 (January 28). Newcastle and the neighbourhood was visited 
by a severe storm, of wind and rain, as were all the western parts of 
thecounty. From the circumstance of the Tyne risingto an enormous 
height and overflowing its banks, the whole of the district below 
Blaydon, including Derwenthaugh, Scotswood, Dunstan, &c., was 
completely under water, and in many of the houses it was nearly 
up to the second floor. At the time of high water at Newcastle in 
the evening, the Close and the Quayside were completely flooded, 
the water extending on to the Sandhill and a considerable distance 
up the Broad-chare. Many cellars and warehouses in those 
situations were filled with water. 

January 30. Another case of the destruction of farm property 
occurred at Offerton. Since the former fire on the 21st of this 
month, Mr. Burnip, the proprietor of the stacks now destroyed, had 
kept a constant watch by night over his property until the 29th, 
when he desisted, imagining that the high reward offered for the 
apprehension of those concerned in Mr. Elliot's conflagration, 
would deter others from committing a similar act. He accordingly 
retired to rest at his usual hour, but awoke between one and two 
o'clock in the morning, and not feeling satisfied, he determined on 
perambulating his farm yards, which he did, and all appearing to 
be safe he returned to his bed ; but shortly after three o'clock Mr. 
Burniss was aroused by a loud knocking at his door, and on looking 
out discovered that one of his stack yards was in flames. All 
classes at once rendered the most prompt assistance in their power, 
but had it not been for the immediate assistance rendered by an 
engine from one of Lord Durham's collieries, the whole of the farm 
buildings must have been destroyed. The loss of property, never- 
theless, was excessive, including 8 stacks of wheat, 4 of oats, 2 of 
tares and beans, and 2 of hay. It was stated that a light had been 
seen by a cottager on the opposite side of the Wear, about three 
o'clock in the morning, moving from stack to stack. The circum- 
stance of two fires of such magnitude occurring in the same vicinity 
in so short a time, produced a great sensation in the neighbourhood, 
and a very strong feeling on behalf of the sufferers, Mr. Burnip 
and his son, who were highly respected by all who knew them. 

February 5. The 21st anniversary of the Society of Anti- 
quaries of Newcastle was held at their apartments in the building 
of the Literary and Philosophical Society. Mr. Adamson read the 
report, which embodied an account by the Rev. John Hodgson, 


secretary, of the excavations carried on at the expense of the 
society, aided by a voluntary contribution, in the Roman station 
Borcovicus, at Housesteads, in the years 1830, 1831, and 1833, and 
of the researches made by the Rev. A. Hedley at his station of 
Vindolana, or little Chesters, and by the late Mr. Crawhall, at 
Amblogama, or Burdoswald. The members afterwards dined in 
their library, which was tastefully fitted up for the occasion with 
the armour in the society's museum, to which Mr. Falla kindly 
added some beautiful specimens belonging to him. About twenty- 
five dined, Sir Charles Monck in the chair ; Mr. Adamson acted 
as his vice. It was a true antiquarian feast, and the evening was 
agreeably spent. 

1834 (February 11). Died, at his seat of Mainsforth, aged 55, 
Robert Surtees, esq., M. A., F.S. A., and the historian of the county of 
Durham. Mr. Surtees was born in the city of Durham, and after 
passing his youthful years at Houghton-le-Spring grammar school 
and Christ Church, Oxford, he entered the Temple in 1800, but 
on the death of his father, in 1802, before he was of standing to 
be called to the bar, retired to Mainsforth, and he relinquished his 
connection with the profession, and almost immediately commenced 
the compilation of his history, the first volume of which was pub- 
lished in 1816, the second in 1820, the third in 1823, and the 
fourth and last volume not having been wholly arranged at the 
time of his death, was not given to the world until 1840. The 
biographical sketches in his History of Durham evince the kindli- 
ness of the author's disposition, and the pedigree and descents of 
property his laborious research, while the notes disclose the 
luxuriance of his own imagination, together with an extensive 
cultivation of the polite literature of ancient and modern times. 
Towards the neighbouring poor, by whom he was much beloved, 
he often carried his consideration to a fanciful refinement. He 
would frequently drop small sums of money on the road, and 
enjoy the notion of the unexpected pleasure that the next poor 
person passing by would feel in acquiring them, unencumbered with 
the debt of gratitude. He extended his sympathies to the brute crea- 
tion, and in his love for dogs was a successful rival of his friend Sir 
Walter Scott. His manner was generally distinguished by courtesy 
and consideration, but false pretension of any sort he could not 
bring himself to tolerate, and unlucky was the man who, in his 
presence, ostentatiously affected to know more than he did, for besides 
that he was unusually ready in wit and sarcasm, it might be said 
of him on such occasions, as was said of Dr. Johnson, that if his 
pistol missed fire he would knock you down with the butt end of it. 
He was buried midst the tears of the surrounding poor on the 
15th of February, 1834, in the churchyard of Bishop Middleham, 
where an elegant monument has been erected to his memory by his 

February 14. This day, an old woman, named Jane Gordon, 
arrived at the Mendicity office, Newcastle, after travelling from 
her native place, Linlithgow, in Scotland, to Toworth, near 


Bawtry^ in Yorkshire. She was 100 years of age, and had per- 
formed the task three times in the last three years ; but in this, her 
last attempt, she failed. In June, 1823, she walked upwards of 
400 miles, at an average of eighteen miles a day. Her case being 
made known to several charitable individuals, a sum was soon 
raised to clothe and send her home. Mr. Radford, one of the 
proprietors of the Turf Hotel coach office, generously gave her a 
free passage to Edinburgh. She had been a widow 54 years, and 
received an allowance, the last twenty from her husband's native 
place in Yorkshire. 

1834 (February. This month, Mr. Bowes, of Chapel-row, near 
Bishop Auckland, having been annoyed by the occasional stopping 
of his clock, sent for a clock-maker, to ascertain the cause, when 
it was found that a mouse had built her nest among the works, 
where she was actually rearing a young litter. 

February 14. Died at his house in Albion Street, Newcastle, 
the Rev. Henry Deer Griffith, incumbent of St. Andrew's, lecturer 
at St. Nicholas', and chaplain to the Trinity House. In the death 
of this gentleman, the public had to deplore the loss of a very 
amiable and accomplished man, and a most able and eloquent 
minister of the established church. In life he was beloved and 
respected, he died esteemed and regretted by all who knew him. 

February 15. The miners employed at the Monkwearmouth 
colliery penetrated through the main seam of coal, which is six 
feet nine inches in depth, and 264 fathoms from the surface. 

February 26. Wednesday about four o'clock, the bark mill 
occupied by Mr. Jonathan Priestman, situated in Low Friar-street, 
Newcastle, was discovered to be on fire. The engines of the New- 
castle and North British fire offices, and those from the barracks, 
were speedily in attendance, but from the strong wind which was 
then blowing at the time and the height which the fire had readied 
before assistance could be procured, all hope of saving the pre- 
mises where it first originated were abandoned. Every effort was 
therefore directed to prevent the dreadful conflagration from 
spreading, which was successful. The loss of property, however, 
was very considerable. 

March 3. Thomas Drummond of Biddick, county of Durham, 
pitman, was declared by a respectable jury at the Court House, 
Edinburgh, to be lawful heir male to his grand uncle, John Drum- 
mond only brother to James Drummond, last earl of Perth, com- 
monly called Duke of Perth. Mr. Drummond afterwards pub- 
lished his case, claiming the title and estates of the earls of Perth, 
and attempted to prosecute his claim before the committee of 
privileges of the House of Lords, but not being able to raise the 
necessary funds proved one if not the chief obstacle to his suc- 
cess. The earldom was likewise claimed by the duke de Melfort, 
and was eventually obtained by him in 1853.* 

March 15. Died, at South Shields, aged 100 years, Mrs. Alice 

* An interesting account of the above may be had of T, Fordyce. 


1834 (March 15). Saturday at niaht, between twelve and one 
o'clock, a young man named Master-man, a Cooper in Newcastle,, 
was assisting an acquaintance named Waddle to his residence at the 
South Shore, near Messrs. Hawks and Co.'s factory, he was- 
accosted by three men when near Black wall paper mill, and 
knocked do\vn by 011x3 of them with what resembled a broken oar 
and robbed of a sovereign, four shillings in silver, and his watch. 
His hat was found next morning near Redheugh. He was so- 
dreadfully disabled that he could not move, and after being 
exposed to the cold several hours, was found between six and seven- 
in the morning with his pockets turned inside out, and on being- 
removed home was in such a precarious state that Mr. Alderman 
Shadforth attended on Sunday evening with Mr. J. Brown, and 
took his deposition. Waddle was also robbed, but not seriously 
injured. On the Monday, three young men were taken upon sus- 
picion, viz., Benjamin Bramwell and Martin Lennox, smiths, and 
John Pybus, an apprentice to a builder. After undergoing an- 
examination, they were remanded until Wednesday, when they 
were again brought before the mayor and magistrates. Bramwell 
gave a voluntary account of himself and such further information; 
as implicated his companions, and warranted the magistrates in 
committing them for trial, At the assizes held at Durham in the 
month of August following, Lennox and Pybus were found guilty 
of highway robbery, Bramwell being admitted king's evidence. 

March 20. A fine vessel of aboat eight keels burden, and the 
only one ever built above the Tyne bridge, was launched at 
Chatham, in the presence of a large assemblage of spectator*. 
She was called The Frolic, and intended for the Baltic trade. 

March 22. During a heavy gale of wind, a new chapel, which 
was building at Monkwearmouth for the Baptists, was blown 
down. On the same day a portion of the lead "on the roof of the 
Natural History Society's building in Westgate- street, Newcastle, 
weighing upwards of a ton, was also blown dawn, and fell on the 
top of the adjacent workshops of Messrs. Dotehin, cabinet makers, 
and did considerable damage. 

March 24. About four o'clock in the morning, Ayton House 
near Berwick, the seat of J. Fordyee, esq., was discovered to be 
in flames, and the family and domestics just escaped with their 
lives almost in a state of nudity. A messenger was immediately 
sent to Berwick, but before the engine could arrive a great part of 
the roof had fallen in, and furniture, library, &c., were destroyed. 
By the exertions of the firemen, the kitchen, cellars, and one of 
the wings of the house were saved. Everything else was con- 
sumed. The fire was supposed to have originated in one of the 
servant's rooms, where she had left a can-die burning. The furni- 
ture, &c , were insured in the Sun and Phoenix offices to the 
amount of 8000. 

March 27. As George Johnson, in the employ of Messrs. 
Fletcher, dr\ s liters, Newcastle, was driving a cart of 
to die carriers, a hackney couch, driven by Thomas 


Forster, unfortunately ran against him with such violence as to 
bring him in contact with the shaft of the cart, which was standing 
in the street, and to cause three of his ribs to be broken ; he lay 
on the footpath for some time as if dead. The man who drove the 
hackney coach, was conveying a person to Durham, who had a 
broken leg ; and, strange to say, as soon as he had driven the 
coach to Durham, he complained himself of being ill, requested to 
be taken to his son's house, and died the following morning. 

1834 (March 28;. The following melancholy event took place 
at Low Buston, near Warkworth. A cow, roused by some boys, 
attacked a female who was driving her, and tossed her several 
times over her head, and continued to gore her for some minutes, 
notwithstanding the efforts of several individuals who were attracted 
to the spot, and had much difficulty in extricating the poor woman 
from her perilous situation. She was, however, removed to a 
house, and found to be much injured, and in a dangerous state. 
Another woman, an eye-witness to the accident, and who had 
gone to her assistance, died immediately afterwards, from the effects 
of the fright. 

March 30. Mr. William Gallon, of Wooler, innkeeper, when 
digging a drain to conduct water into his court-yard, from the 
Water Company's pipes in the street, found a large stone trough 
of a singular shape, being wide at one end and narrow at the other 
full of rich black mould, with a small quantity of white earthy 
substance resembling adipocere, of very offensive odour, from which 
circumstance it was thought to be an ancient stone coffin, one end 
of which was close to the foundation of his house, the latter being 
nearly 800 years old. 

April 9. The dead body of a woman, named Ann Lumsden, 
was found upon the sea-shore at Hendon, near Sunderland, 
supposed to have been murdered. A man, named Thomas 
Hodgson, was fully committed to take his trial upon the charge, 
but was honourably acquitted at the Assizes, held at Durham in 
the following August. 

April 16. Died, at Bedlington, North Durham, aged 104, Mary, 
widow of Mr. Robert Gallon. 

April 31. Charles May, a clerk in the office of a solicitor in 
Newcastle, was fully committed for trial at the Assizes, on a 
charge of stealing 174 volumes, and a great number of prints, 
which had been torn out of books, all belonging to Dr. Thomlin- 
son's Library in St. Nicholas' church, in that town. May was 
transported for seven years. 

May 6. An elegant new barge, for the use of the right 
worshipful the mayor and corporation of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
was launched from the building- yard of Messrs. John Oliver and 
Son, boat-builders, South Shields. 

May 12. A fire broke out on the premises belonging to 
Cress well Baker, esq., at Hareup- Hill- End, near Bewick, in the 
county of Northumberland, occupied by two farm-servants, which 
consumed the whole of the building, together with a quantity of 


corn that was in the granary, also three wheat stacks, and a large 
hay-rick. The fire originated in the chimney. 

1 (May.) The church of St. Nicholas had a new north porch 
and buttresses erected, to correspond with those on the south. 


From Groat Market, with foot of Middle-street, the site of the latter now 
occupied by the Town Hall Buildings. 

May 15. The upper part of the Stanhope and Tyne Railway 
extending from Stanhope to Annfield, county of Durham, a distance 
of about sixteen miles, was opened. A party of gentlemen left 
Annfield at eight o'clock in the morning by a railway waggon, 
tastefully fitted up for the occasion, and arrived at the termination 
of the line about eleven, highly gratified with the whole line of 
road, but especially with that part of it which crosses the precipi- 
tous ravine called the Hownes. At one o'clock the first four lime 
waggons were started from the spacious range of kilns belonging 
to the company, and speedily ascended the steep inclined 


adjoining Stanhope, amidst the cheers of an immense crowd of 
spectators. A splendid dinner had been provided for 400 persons 
by the spirited proprietors of the railway. But the hilarity of the 
occasion was much damped by the occurrence of a serious and 
fatal accident. Four carriages, in which there could be no less 
than from forty to fifty people, had just commenced the descent of 
the second inclined plane, when one of the shackles suddenly 
snapped, and the waggons ran with great velocity against some 
other waggons, when by the shock one man was killed, and a boy, 
nine years of age, so seriously injured, that he died during the 
night. Several others had bones fractured by leaping off the 
waggons during their descent, and many received various con- 

1834 (May 28.) Being his majesty's birthday, a royal salute 
was fired from the castle, the bells rung several merry peals, and 
the Newcastle volunteers fired a feu dejoie on the Sandhill. The 
ships in harbour also hoisted their flags, and other demonstrations 
of joy were observed in different parts of the town. 

June 22. A new Catholic chapel at Minster Acres was opened. 

June 23. Workmen began to prepare ground at the entrance of 
the Sunderland market for the erection of the arcade there. 

July l. James Liddell, convicted at the Durham assizes of 
forgery, escaped from the prison between the hours of one and two 
o'clock in the afternoon. He had forced two locks, and by the 
assistance of some rope and a ladder, got over the back wall of 
the prison. 

July 2. The black tigress belonging to Wombwell's menagerie 
produced a. litter of young ones in Newcastle. This is the first 
instance of a breed having been obtained from those animals in. 

About this period a person named Thomas Elliott, aged 87, but 
better known in most parts of Northumberland as Tommy the 
tinker, died at Chollerton Edge, in that county. He generally 
resided at Stamfordham, and in his peregrinations through life 
used frequently to walk from Tweedmouth to the latter place, a 
distance of upwards of sixty miles, in one day. He was very 
industrious, and is said to have reaped corn regularly every year 
for seventy-four years. 

July 4. A dog, which was in an attic in a three storey house 
in Maud's lane, Sunderland, on a gesture made by the person with 
whom it was in charge, sprung through the window, which was 
open, and fell to the ground on the pavement unhurt, a height of 
33 feet. The animal was upwards of four stone weight. 

July 15. The bells of the churches in Newcastle rung several 
rnerry peals on account of the common council giving their formal 
sanction to Mr. Graingers's improvement plans. The same even- 
ing Mr. Grainger's workmen were regaled in the Nuns-field with 
a plentiful supply of strong ale, &c., which drew together a great 
crowd of spectators, whose excited feelings led them to acts of 
violence. After being desired to depart, they became furious, and 


broke into the mansion called Anderson Place occupied^ by T. 
Anderson, esq., and destroyed the whole of a splendid stair-case, 
and did other mischief. 

18'M (Juty 19.J There was livin at Stella Path - head a Wldow 
named Catherine Miles, of the extraordinary age of 103 years, 
and so active and vigorous that a month previously she carried a 
stone of flour from Newcastle to her home, a distance of five or 
six miles. Her son had promised to take her to Stella in the 
wherry, but she would not wait for that conveyance. 

Jit ft/ 22. A murder was perpetrated on the body of Thomas 
.t Uebburn Quay. A slight quarrel arose at a tea drinking 
held in a public house. Thomas Lee accidentally putting out his 
foot which tripped up a girl while dancing, and broke her sandal, 
she immediately made complaint to her sweetheart, Daniel 
Stewart, who remonstrated with Lee in an angry tone. Lee readily 
apologised, and Stewart shook hands. The three then in token of 
reconciliation drunk each other's health, but two of Stewart's 
companions, sailors, were desirous to fight Lee, who declined com- 
bat with either of them. The festivities continued until 2 o'clock, 
when the party broke up the quarrel recommenced, and Lee was 
killed by a blow with a pewter pot. He was thrown into the 
water, and was not found until half-tide next morning at ten. 
o'clock. At the assizes held the next week at Durham one of the 
men named Willis was found guilty of manslaughter, and sen- 
tenced to seven years' transportation. 

July 24. A splendid large ship, fully rigged and manned, with 
one hundred tons of ballast in her hold, and in every respect fitted 
for sea, was launched from the building-yard of Mr. Reay, 
Walker- on- the-Tyne, and proceeded to sea on her voyage. 

July 28. While a horse and gig were awaiting two gentlemen 
in the Main-street of Sunderland, the horse became restive, and 
the man who had the charge of it losing his hold, it took off at 
full speed down the street, and came in contact with a lamp-post, 
which it broke, and, unfortunately, just at that moment, a 
blind man, called Thomas Willis, better known as " Blind Tom," 
was passing the spot, part of the lamp-post fell upon his head, and 
fractured his skull, and the gig also went over him. The poor 
man was so dreadfully bruised that he died the next morning at 
one o'clock. 

Jnlij 26. Mr. Green, according to a promise he had made to the 
inhabitants of Darlington, in consequence of a failure in an 
attempt to ascend a few days before, commenced the process of 
inflating his balloon in a field, the use of which was granted for 
the occasion, adjoining Mr. E. Pease's house. About a quarter 
before six o'clock, the balloon having received a supply of ^as, the 
cords were slackened to allow it to clear itself, it was then fas- 
id on a cart with the car, in which Mr. Green and two females 
e seated. It was then conducted up North- street, preceded by 
id playing favourite airs. It was a magnificent si*ht, and the 
K was much crowded with spectators. On reaching the market 


In- made :i splendid ascent, to the admiration <>f :m immense mul- 
titude, lie landed at I'iliuoor House, near Croft, about four mile* 
from Darlington. 

IS;', |. (,//////."><>.) Mr. (JrainL'-cr rommeti-'ed to dike the levels 

;ilid l:iy out, the III! elided new market* and Hlreets in the NmiS- 
lield, Newcastle. I Miring the ; excavations the workmen found an 
ancient, east of a < rnci!i\, lh" remains of a. i'/ilt, spur, a farthing of 
\Yilliam the, Third, and two other small coins. 

August I l>i*'d at Canton, ajjvd 52, tbti Kev. IJobert Morrison, 
]).!). '1'liis disliiiL'ni.shed mi; sionary and oriental sehohr was born 
jil. WiiiatfS, in the parish of Loiijjdiorslev, Northuinbei land, on 
Ilie ;!h of January, 1 7<S - ; , lnt removed in infancy to Huller^ 
(Jreen, Moi-p'.'th, where he eontiiineil to residt^ till :ilout, 17^;'), 
when his parents removed to Nr.wrast.le. A I an early ajjje he 
became apprenlii-e, to his father, who was a Diinfi-rinlinu man, 
and \\ hose hiisiness was that of a last, and boot, tree maker, in 
Avhieh business his son soon heeame skilful and industrious. The 
.shop in which he wrought was in :i passage in the. ( J roat,- market , 
now known by tin; name of Da^'s-entry or Morrison's-)iirt. 

WOllKSiMU'. DAGO'S KN'I'li V, (i la )AT MA I! KMT. 

Whilst, but a youth his passion for knowledge l)eeame intense, nnd 
the K< v. A. Laidla\v, of the, Silver-street J'reshy t;ri:in chape], 
was his (irst insiructor in (jln-ck, Latin, and 1 Ichrew. ll<^c,om- 
nieneed to wi'ite shoi'thand, to stud) 1 theiJo^y, and he(;ame a /ealou.s 

member of the Society for the lielie.f of the Homeless Poor. In 

1*01 In- was snllieiently advanced in his studies to p:is.s his exami- 
n:ti.n as a cler;j) man, and ah'.nl, a year after he. offered himself 
as a missionary to China, and was accepted. The first 'jrcat 

abject of the mission was to form a Chinese dictionary, the next 

to translate the, script HITS. P.oth these giv;it works have been 
accomplished hy the two first men appointed to the mission, Mr. 


Morrison and Mr. Milne, the latter of whom departed this life 
some Team Rgo. The, translation of the scriptures was a work 
common to l..'.il, of these two eminent missionaries. The transla- 
tion and compilation of the dictionary was Mr Morrison a own, 
.! is the monument of his fame. His remains were followed from residence to the river side by Lord Napier and all the 
Furom-an. American, and Asiatic British subjects in Canton. The 
corpse was forwarded to Macao, and followed to the grave by 
about forty Knropoari gentlemen, and interred in the Protestant 
burial ground in that settlement. 

; (.\ntjnft 1). A new joint stock coach commenced to run 
between Gateshead and Stanhope by way of Whickham,Burnopfield, 
Lanchester,Wolsingham,&c, This was the first coach ever attempted 
on that line of road. 

A mjnst 5. Died, at ITartlepool, Durham, Edward Dixon, esq., 
aired '1\. Mr. Dixon's family, (Dixon of Beeston) is one of con- 
siderable antiquity, having been located at Beeston, in Yorkshire, 
for several centuries, and being also the representative of the very 
ancient line of the De Beistons, the last of whom, Dorothy de 
Beiston, who died in 1G35, married his ancestor Ralph Dixon, 
esq , and from the eldest son of which marriage Mr. Dixon was 

August 6. Died, in the 73rd year of his age James Wilkie, 
M.D., resident surgeon and apothecary to the Dispensary, New- 
castle, which important situation he filled upwards of fifty years. 
During this long period he discharged with great ability, singular 
fidelity, and unwearied zeal, the duties of his office, to which his 
uncommonly healthy constitution and vigorous mind enabled him 
punctually to attend till within a few months of the close of his 
valuable life. He was remarkable for his simplicity of manner, 
energy and decision of character, honest pride, love of justice, and 
integrity, and for his humanity and benevolence of disposition, and 
steady attachment to his friends, but the most prominent quality 
in his character, and the one for which he is entitled to be remem- 
bered with the greatest respect and gratitude, was his generous 
and humane attention to every case of distress which it was in his 
power to relieve. 

August 9. A locust of extraordinary size was found alive in the 

nursery of William Falla, esq , of Gateshead. It was similar to 

the specimen described by Lineaus as the migratory locust. This 

ery singular circumstance, and its being found in that part of 

the country is of very rare occurrence. 

August 10. The fine ship, Palmer, 600 tons burthen, sailed 
from Newcastle with passengers and goods, to Van Dieman's 
Land and New South Wales, being the first vessel that had left 
the port of Tyne for these colonies. 

AwjuKt 25. Mr. William Walker, mason, of Branton, North- 
umberland, and Mr. William Atkinson, joiner, Powburn, accom- 
panied by Mr. Thomas Duncan, teacher, Glanton, left Branton 
arly m the morning to go trout fishing in the river Breamish. In 


consequence of the heavy fall of rain that morning the water be- 
gan very rapidly to overflow the banks, and whilst the party were 
attempting to cross a small brook, which runs into the Breamish, 
but which had swollen very much with the rain, a melancholy circum- 
stance took place. Walker, who went into the water first, 
immediately disappeared. Atkinson, who was a very athletic man, 
plunged in to save him, but unhappily he sunk also, but soon after- 
wards came to the top, and reached out his fishing rod, which he 
still kept hold of, to Mr. Duncan ; unfortunately, however, the 
water was running so furiously that the rod on which the lives of 
Atkinson and Walker were depending, broke, and they again sunk 
to rise no more. Mr. Duncan's humanity for his fellow sufferers 
prompted him to plunge in also, but he was soon carried away by 
the furious current, and had it not been for the timely assistance 
of Mr. Robert Donkin, of Ingram, he would have shared the fate 
of his companions. He was taken out of the water almost in a 
lifeless state. 

1834 (August 29.J Died, at Percy Main, aged 93, Mr. Charles 
Gardener. It is somewhat singular that, during his long life, it 
only cost him two shillings and sixpence for medicine, and one 
shilling for extracting two teeth. He worked until his 90th year. 

August 19. This was the most successful herring season on 
the coast of Northumberland ever remembered, and was the 
means of employing a great many industrious fishermen and their 
families, in the process of curing; they were sold in the streets of 
Alnwick at six a penny. 

September 8. Two gentlemen from Durham, James and 
Cuthbert Kirby, brothers, attended the Falkirk Tryst, and 
purchased a number of sheep, which were sent forward on their 
way to England, to Shieldhill, a village about two miles to the 
south of Falkirk, in the charge of Cuthbert Kirby, and a drover. 
The sheep were put into a field, and Mr. Kirby, after having 
partaken of supper, went out, but not returning, his absence 
began to create uneasiness, and about ten o'clock, a man went in 
search of him. Every exertion to discover the trace of Mr. 
Kirby proved fruitless, when it was suspected that he had 
fallen down an old coal pit, which had been allowed to stand open, 
without so much as a fence around the mouth of it. This 
culpable negligence was the cause of death in this instance. 
Some of the workmen at Carron lent their assist;mce and soon 
had a windlass on the spot, and as a precautionary measure 
against gas, which was likely to have accumulated at the bottom 
of the mine, a colliers lamp was let down, and an intrepid 
individual, William Henderson, then descended to the full depth, 
of 120 feet, and found the corpse of the unfortunate man. A 
dreadful wound presented itself on the left temple, the skull 
being completely driven in, the left shoulder was likewise broken, 
and one of the thighs much injured. 

September 10. This was the day fixed for the ceremony of 
opening the entire line of the Stanhope and Tyne Railroad, and 



in consequence, from an early hour in the morning, much interest 

scited in the neighbourhood of the company s works at South 

Shi. -his About two o'clock, an engine arrived from Medomsley 

ing 100 waggons of coal, and this train was 

followed bv a .second, containing the directors of the line and 

their friends. The coal was then deposited in the ship Sally, of 

South Shields, being the first vessel loaded at the new drops. A 

dinner was given to the workmen, 1,000 in number, and a grand 

banquet afterwards took place at the Golden Lion Inn, R. Ingham, 

.M.P., in the chair, at which 120 gentlemen sat down. The 

Stanhope and Tyne Railway was 32 miles in length, and was 

constructed by agreement with the landowners, without the aid 

of parliament, at a cost of upwards of half a million sterling. 

ls;M (September 15.) The river Tyne displayed one of the most 
animating scenes that had ever probably been witnessed upon its 
waters. The occasion was the holding of a Regatta for the first 
time in this neighbourhood ; and about mid day crowds of well- 
dressed people were proceeding to the place appointed for the 
races, a number of equestrians, and carriages filled for the most 
part with fashionably attired ladies, added considerably to the 
lively bustle of the scene. The Regatta was appointed to take 
place at 12 o'clock, and shortly after that hour the stewards, 
namely, the Right Worshipful the Mayor (Henry Bell, esq.), 
J. T.Carr, esq , deputy master of the Trinity-house, and W. A. 
Surtees, esq., arrived in a boat, at the stern of which was 
exhibited a blue silk flag, bearing the arms of the town surmounted 
by the words " Tyne Regatta," the barges of the Mayor, the 
Trinity-house, a private barge, several steamers with their decks 
thronged with passengers, the gigs which were intended to compete 
for the prizes, and a large number of other boats followed, and 
the river at the head of the King's Meadows, presented a spectacle 
of a peculiarly striking character. 

September 17 One of the very large steam boilers at Elemore 
pit, Helton Colliery, Durham, by some unexplained circumstance 
was shifted from its place by the force of the steam, and thrown 
a distance of forty yards, and rolled ^ten yards further. A man 
named George Bell was killed upon the spot. Peter Thornton,, 
ami William Smith, were severely scalded. John Potts was 
thrown a very great distance against an ashheap, and with such 
force that he was completely engulphed in it, and could not be 
extricated till the ashes had been cleared from around him. 

September 19. The "London Gazette" contained an order 
in Council, declaring Newcastle-upon-Tyne one of the ports for 
the importation of goods from places within the t limits of the East 
India Company's charter. 

October 4. A serious accident happened at Springwell colliery, 
near Eighton Banks, the property of Lord Ravensworth and 
L artners, by the falling of a heavy piece of timber down the pit, 
which alighted upon a scaffold or "cradle," on which were 
standing William Puncheon, a brakesman, and John Smith, 


wasteman, the weight of which precipitated them to the bottom, 
a depth of thirty fathoms, and they were both killed upon the spot. 

1834- (October 6.) The annual election of corporate officers 
took place in Newcastle, when John Lionel Hood, esq., was 
unanimously elected mayor, and John Mellar Chapman, esq., 
sheriff. There was an exciting contest for the office of recorder 
between G. H. Wilkinson, esq., and R. C. Askew, esq., the latter 
being the corporation candidate ; but the former was elected by 
a majority of 14 to 10. Mr. Alderman RobsoR was elected mayor 
of Durham. 

October 31. Died, at his house, in Percy-street, Newcastle, 
in the 60th year of his age, Mr. John Bruce. For upwards of 
forty years he filled the arduous situation of a teacher of youth, 
first in Alnwick, his native place, and then in Newcastle. The 
deceased was the author of a work on geography, which has 
obtained very wide estimation, and he was also the compiler of 
other elementary works. At the time of his death, he had in 
conjunction with his son, the Rev. J. C. Bruce, the direction of 
one of the most extensive and flourishing seminaries in the North 
of England. His funeral, which took place on November the 5th, 
was attended by a large number of the principal inhabitants of 
Newcastle. Soon afterwards, an elegant monument, designed by 
Mr. J. Green, was placed in Westgate cemetery, over his remains, 
at the cost of his friends and pupils. 

October. This month, the new line of road leading from Belsay 
to Otterburn, was opened to the public. This desirable under- 
taking greatly lessens the distance between Newcastle and 
Edinburgh, being now only 98 miles. 

November 10. Mr. Green ascended with his balloon from 
Tyne- street, North Shields. It was announced that Mr. Brown 
from Sunderland, would accompany him ; but in consequence of a 
deficiency of gas, Mr. Green durst not attach his car to the balloon, 
and being determined to ascend, though dissuaded from it, he went 
up astride a rope in a beautiful and majestic manner, and in about 
four minutes alighted in the river near Howdon, from which 
situation he was rescued by some scullermen. 

November 11. An inquest was held at Ebchester, on the body 
of Isabella Browell. It appeared that on the day proceeding, 
William Ward, parish clerk, an old man nearly 80 years of age, 
was handling a gun in his house, not knowing it was loaded, it 
went off, and the contents lodged in the body of the deceased, who 
was his grand daughter, killing her on the spot. 

November. This month, the following extraordinary circum- 
stances took place on Williamson Fell, the western extremity of 
Northumberland ; Mr. J. Gill, whilst sporting over the manor of 
his father, Harry Gill, esq., of Williamson, Knaresdale, sat down 
to rest, when his attention was attracted by a moorcock falling 
dead at his feet. On looking up, he observed an immense eagle 
hovering near, at which he immediately fired, and winged it. 
The monarch of the air, qn being approached, and being unable to 


effect its escape by flight, gave battle, and was only captured after 

d struggle. The young gentleman having overcome his 

antagonist, took him by the neck, threw him over his shoulder, 

and carried him to his father's residence. It was discovered, on 

ming the moorcock, that the eagle had struck its head off 

with his talons, whilst hovering in the air. 

1834 (November IS.) A grand dinner was given at the Assembly 
Rooms, Newcastle, to the Earl of Durham, by his friends and 
admirers, in that town. The chair was taken by W. H. Ord, esq., 
M.P., who was supported by the noble Earl and W. Ord, esq., 
William Hutt, esq., M.P., Sir W. Chaytor, Bart., M.P., Cuthbert 
Kippon, esq., M.P. Dr Headlam, the recorder of Newcastle, 
W. W. Burdon, esq., and J. Losh, esq., officiated as vice-presidents. 
The Countess of Durham and a number of ladies were also present, 
and the proceedings, which were very animated, lasted until near 
midnight. The front of the Assembly Rooms was illuminated in 
gas jets with a crown and " William IV," and the words 
" Durham and Reform." This was the first gas illumination ever 
seen in the North, and was much admired. 

November 23. Died, at his father's house, in Albion-place, 
Newcastle, after a protracted illness, in his 20th year, John 
Trotter, eldest son of John Trotter Brockett, esq. In him was 
found intellectual acquirements of the highest order, and to an 
intimate acquaintance with the fine arts, in the cultivation of 
which, he had few superiors, was united an extensive knowledge 
of northern literature, and of antiquarian subjects in general, 

November 2k An explosion of gas took place it St. Lawrence 
colliery, near Newcastle, by which three men were burnt to death. 
Two of the men were masons, and had been building a wall with 
a naked candle, by which it was supposed the gas became ignited, 

November 24 Thomas Martin, William Witty, John Berwick, 
and a boy named John Howe, Avere killed at Hartley Colliery, by 
the breaking of the rope in descending the shaft. 

November 24. The beadle of St. Nicholas' Church, Newcastle, 
having been apprised that a corpse would be sent by the 
Ardincaple steam vessel for interment, accordingly, on the above 
day, a box, directed "A passenger," was taken to his house, 
containing a splendid coffin which was interred at 9 o'clock next 
morning, in the most private manner, and without the tolling of 
any bell. The entry made in the register is " Helen Tatlock, 
Aberdit'ii." The only reason given was, that the woman 
requested not to be buried in Scotland. 

December 30. The family of Mr. Robert Jackson, of New 
Elvet, Durham, were fortunately preserved from impending 
destruction by the barking and howling of a favourite dog. This 
trusty animal observing two clothes-horses on fire after the family 
pad ivthvd to rest, sagaciously gave the alarm. 

December. A melancholy accident happened at the entrance to 
Alnwiek, from the west, a young man named Aynsley, servant to 
Mr. Crisp, of Ilugley, was thrown from his horse, and had his 


skull fractured, when found, lie was in a dying state, and expired 
before lie could be carried home. 

1834 (December 31..) The body of a schoolmaster named Tomlin- 
son, of North Shields, was discovered in the river Tyne, near the 
Low-lights. It is supposed he had fallen over some of the quays, 
during the night. 

1835 (January.) In consequence of the dismissal of the Melbourne 
Government, Parliament was dissolved, December 29, 1834, and 
writs were immediately issued for the new elections. There were 
four candidates for the representation of Newcastle, viz., Sir M. W. 
Ridley, bark, Blagdon ; John Hodgson, esq., of Elswick, William 
Orel, esq. of Whitlield ; and James Aytoun, esq, of Edinburgh. 

January 5. John Mellar Chapman, esq., sheriff of Newcastle, 
opened the business of nomination, when Sir M. W. Ridley, bart., 
was proposed by Mr. Alderman Sorsbie, and seconded by Colonel 
Bell. John Hodgson, esq., was nominated by Mr. Alderman 
Reed, and seconded by Mr. W". Cuthbert. William Ord, esq., was 
proposed by Mr. A. L. Potter, and seconded by Mr. Charnley. 
James Aytoun, esq., was proposed by Mr. Easterby, and seconded 
by Mr. Fife, the last-named two candidates had the show of hands. 
The polling commenced on the morning of Tuesday the 6th, and 
closed on the following day at four o'clock. On Thursday the 
8th, at twelve o'clock, the sheriff declared the poll to be, for 
William Ord, esq., 1,844; Sir M. W. Ridley, 1,500; John 
Hodgson, esq., 1,257 ; James Aytoun, esq., 988. On leaving the 
hustings, Sir M. W. Ridley, was most brutally assailed with 
missiles of all descriptions while driving through the streets in 
his carriage, preceded by his band, near the Mansion-house, in the 
Close, an attack was made upon the band, and one of his colours 
was torn down. At the foot of the Side another of his colours 
was demolished, and a large piece of coal was thrown into his 
carriage. Sir Matthew then ordered the postillions to move 
forward, and they proceeded at a rapid pace to the Queen's Head 
Inn, where he alighted. 

January. The representation of South Shields was contested 
by Robert Ingham, esq., and R. Bowlby, esq. At the close of 
the poll, the numbers were, for Mr. Ingham, 273, and for Mr. 
Bowlby, 128. 

January. At Sunderland, on the 7th, the numbers stood at the 
close of the poll, Alderman Thompson, 844 ; Mr. Barclay, 709 ; 
Sir William Chaytor, 389. 

January, The Berwick election terminated as follows : 
Bradshaw, 410 ; Sir R. Donkin, 350 ; Sir F. Blake, 337. 

January. Durham city election began on Thursday the 8th, 
and the polling on Monday the 12th, and was carried on with 
great spirit until within half an hour of closing the poll on the 
second day, when the disturbance became so great, that the mayor 
was obliged to adjourn the poll until the following day at 9 o'clock, 
when after being kept up half an hour, the numbers were declared 
by the mayor as follows : Mr. Trevor, 473 ; Mr. Harland, 433 ; 


Mr. Granger, 350. The two former gentlemen weref afterwards 
chaired in the usual form. . 

1 835 (J<niwn-i/.) Tynemouth : George l< redenck Young, esq., was 
returned without opposition. 

(ji.t.-shcml: Cuthbert Kippon, esq., was re-elected without 

Morpeth : The Hon. E. G. G. Howard was re-elected without 


South Northumberland: Matthew Bell, esq., and Thomas W. 
Beaumont, esq., were re-elected. 

North Northumberland: Viscount Howick and Lord Ossulston 
were re-elected without opposition. 

North Durham : Hedworth Lambton, esq., and Sir Hed worth 
Williamson, bart., were re-elected. 

South Durham : John Bowes esq., and Joseph Pease, esq., 
were again re-elected. 

January 13. Died, at his house, in Clavering -place, in 
NewcastJe-upon-Tyne, in the 81st year of his age, Robert Hopper 
Williamson, esq., barrister-at-law, temporal chancellor of the 
county of Durham. Mr. Williamson, was descended from the 
respectable family of Hopper, of the county palatine, and 
marrying the heiress of Dr. Williamson, of Whickham, he assumed 
her name in addition to his own. In 1794 he was elected recorder 
of Newca^tle-upon-Tvne, which important office he filled with the 
most distinguished ability until the death of Mrs. Williamson, in 
1829, when he tendered his resignation. He was appointed to the 
temporal chancellorship of Durham, in 1819, by bishop Barrington, 
and he sustained the duties which appertained to it, then highly 
onerous and important, in a manner which did him the highest 
credit. For many years Mr. Williamson practised as a chamber 
counsel in Newcastle, and no man has ever had his opinion upon 
the great and various questions submitted to his consideration, 
more implicitly deferred to patient and indefatigable in all his 
researches, his opinions had the moral force and influence of 
judicial decisions an honour which has been conceded to no other 
jurisconsult of his time. In politics, he was a whig of the old 
school, and he attended the polling booth at the recent election 
for Newcastle, and polled a plumper for Sir M. W. Ridley bart., 
declaring that this act would, as it proved to be the last public 
action of his life. The energies of his mind, and the strength of his 
faculties, remained in full vigour to the last; and he passed his 
four score years without being subject to any of those senilities 
which so generally mark the great age to which he had the 
happiness to attain. On Tuesday the 20th, his remains were 
interred at Whickham, with great respect; the members of the 
corporation, gentlemen of the legal profession &c., occupying 
upwards of forty carriages followed the hearse, notwithstanding 
the inclemency of the weather. 

.Jtinnary 14. The drivers of three carts, in the neighbourhood of 
Axmghorsley, Northumberland, agreed to run a race, and drove at 


a furious rate, until within a short distance of Whomleyburn, when 
the carts came in contact with each other, and with a laden cart, 
which they met, when the latter and one of the former were upset, 
and a man named George Taylor, of Roth bury, was killed on the 
spot, and his daughter, who was in the cart with him, narrowly 
escaped the same fate. 

1835 (January 1 6.) The town of Hexham, Northumberland, was 
lighter! with gas for the first time. In celebration of the event, 
the directors and shareholders of the gas company walked in 
procession through the town, and afterwards dined together at 
the Black Bull Inn, R. Stokoe, esq., in the chair. 

January 2(5. Karly on the morning of this day, a daring 
burglary was committed at the house of Mr. Crighton, solicitor, in 
Eldon-plaoe, Newcastle, Between three and four o'clock, Mr, Crigh- 
ton was alarmed by hearing a noise in the lower part of his house, 
and having procured a light, and armed himself with a poker, he 
proceeded down stairs to ascertain the cause; but on reaching the 
passage, his light was blown out by the wind, and almost at the 
game instant a man rushed out of the dining-room, A scuffle then 
ensued between them, during which Mr. Crighton struck the 
thief some severe blows with the poker, but in return received 
several bruises, and had the end of one of his fingers bitten off. 
The thief, however, unfortunately effected his escape through the 
back door, An alarm was instantly given, and the assistance of 
some of his neighbours and the watchman having been procured, 
a strict search was made, but no trace of the depredator could be 
met with. On examining the back parlour it appeared that the 
thief had put up some of Mr. Crighton's clothes into a bundle, 
and had helped himself to some wine and cake ; he was supposed 
to have entered by the window. 

February 12. A letter having been received by the church w;ard ens 
of St. Nicholas, Newcastle, from George Maule, esq., solicitor to the 
treasury, requiring them to call a vestry meeting of the parishioners, 
to select three of the responsible and respectable inhabitants whose 
names were to be submitted, with that of the incumbent, "as trustees 
of such bounty as his majesty might be pleased to bestow upon the 
poor inhabitants of the parish, in conformity with the will of the late 
Mr . Wm. Moulton," * a meeting was held accordingly in the vestry 
on the above day, when Mr. Henry Ingledew, Mr. A. L. Potter, 
and Mr. Robert Pace, were nominated as the trustees, in 
question. The property is situated in the Cloth Market, 
and extends to Grey-street, and is occupied by Mr. Robert Sewell, 
hardwareman. Cloth Market, and by Messrs. Proctor and Son, 
chemists. Grey-street. The present value is about 300 a- year. 

February 22, On this night and following day, Newcastle and 
its neighbourhood were visited by a violent storm of wind and 
rain, which did considerable damage to the chimneys and roofs of 
a great number of houses. At the residence of Benjamin 
Thompson, esq., Northumberland-street, a tall chimney was 
* See Sykes, TO! 2, page 387. 

TIl>T(i:H'Al. KKGISTER OF [A.D. 1835. 

blown down, and broke in the roof of the kitchen, in which were 

two female servants, who were both severely bruised: indeed it 

of astonishment how they escaped with lite. A 


O f i-hi.nnies on Mr. Armstrong's, woollen drapers 
n - ni r . 8tree t, f,11 with a tremendous crash, and burst 

in nearly the whole of the roof on one side, several of the bricks 
f.,llin.r into Mosley-street The temporary pavilion of a "Billy 
Purvis," which was erected on the Parade-ground, was completely 
shivered to atoms, and the wood work blown far and wide, A 
Glue manufactory at Friar's-goose was completely blown down. 
The chimnies at the residence of Mr. Peacock. Wallsend, were 
blown down and came through the roof into the second storey, 
and would have been fatal to his children, had they not just 
before left the room. 

,////. During this month an eagle took up its abode in the 
woods at Ravensworth, and showed no disposition to leave. It 
wns supposed to have escaped from some place of confinement. 

^/,,, r // ;}. The new chapel- at Heworth was consecrated by the 
Lord Bishop of St. David's. 

j/,, /r /, <). Great interest was excited in Newcastle and the 
adjoining district, by the opening of a portion of the Newcastle 
and Carlifle railway. The morning was uncommonly fine, and at 
an early hour numerous groups of persons were seen bending their 
.*leps in the direction of Blaydon, from which place the procession 
was announced to start at ten o'clock. Two trains were prepared 
for the reception of the intended excursionist. At a quarter 
In t'ore eleven the first train left Blaydon, drawn by the Rapid 
locomotive engine, and was followed by the Comet engine leading 
the second train, at six minutes before eleven. Both these engines 
were made in Newcastle ; the former by Messrs. Stephenson and 
Co., and the latter by Messrs. Hawthorn. About half-past one 
the party reached Hexham, where banners, triumphal arches, 
&e., had been prepared for the occasion, and the whole of the 
Mgers were provided with refreshment, at the various inns, 
at the expense of the directors. At twenty minutes past three the 
trains left Hexham, and returned to Blaydon in one uninterrupted 
trip of seventeen miles, in one hour and ten minutes. Throughout 
the. whole of the line, the adjacent country poured forth its inha- 
bitants. and nothing could exceed the interesting spectacle which 
the villages and cottages presented. Bands of music, flags, the 
ringing of bells, the firing of cannon, and the hearty cheers of the 
!led multitude, gave a joyous welcome to this first and 
.auspicious journey on the Newcastle and Carlisle railway. A 
dinner was held in the evening in the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, 
the mayor (J. L. Hood, esq.,) presiding, and about 80 gentleman 
siit down to commemorate the interesting proceedings of the day. 
On the following day the regular passenger trains, four in number, 
commenced running daily between the two places ; passengers from 
Newcastle being conveyed to Blaydon by omnibusses, and goods 
being forwarded to the same place by a steamboat, which departed 


once a clay from Newcastle quay, at such hours as suited the tide. 
The act of parliament under which the Newcastle and Carlisle 
railway had been formed prohibited the use of locomotive engines, 
at a time (1829) when their construction was such as rendered 
them litttle better than a nuisance ; but since the improvement in 
their manufacture, such objections were wholly surmounted. In 
November, 1834, the managers of the railway gave notice of 
application to parliament for authority to use steam engines, as 
about seventeen miles of the road were about to be opened. All 
the landowners on the line gave their assent, except C. Bacon 
Grey, esq., of Styford, and on the railway being opened, and 
engines placed on it, he had recourse to the court of chancery, and 
obtained an injunction against their use. Notice to this effect was 
served on the directors on Saturday, March the 28th, when the 
railway was of course laid idle. A great sensation followed. 
A public meeting was held on the subject on the 6th of April, in 
the Guildhall, Newcastle, convened by the mayor, J. L. Hood, 
esq., according to a requisition most numerously and respectably 
signed ; and other demonstrations of popular feeling having been 
manifested, Mr. Grey eventually withdrew his opposition, and the 
business of the railway was resumed on the 6th of May. 

1835 (March 9). The neighbourhood of Barnardcastle and 
Brough was visited by a most awful storm of wind and snow. The 
Lord Exmouth coach, from Newcastle to Liverpool, had the greatest 
difficulty in getting up to Spital Inn, Stainmore, which it reached 
several hours past its regular time. After waiting some time, the 
coachman attempted to go to Brough, but the storm was so violent 
he could not proceed more than three or four hundred yards, 
when he thought it prudent to return to Spital Inn, and wait until 
Tuesday morning, and with great difficulty reached Brough in the 
afternoon of that day. the snow being from six to nine feet deep. 

March 13. Six adult persons received public baptism in 
Hamsterley church. 

March. The workmen of Mr. R. Grainger, in digging founda- 
tions in the Nuns'-field, Newcastle, for his new buildings, dug up 
the foundations of some old buildings, and in connexion with 
them, an ancient burial ground. Among other things a stone 
coffin, two lead coffins, and the decayed wood of several others 
were found, from three to four feet deep, most of them embedded 
in clay. From the number of human bones discovered, it may 
fairly be inferred, that it has been the regular place of burial of 
the nuns of the order of St. Bartholomew, which takes a dis- 
tinguished stand in the history of Newcastle. This ground, after 
passing into different hands, was sold on the demise of Sir Walter 
Black ett, its previous proprietor, to Mr. G. Anderson, in 1783. 
In 1834, it was bought by Mr. R. Grainger, for his new markets, 
&c., in digging the foundations for which the above relics were 
found. Several entire skulls were also found and two of the most 
perfect were preserved. It would seem from the size of the bones 


j.nd the thinness of the skulls, that the remains of the sisterhood 
had IKHMI chiefly hurled there. 

5 (,]/,.<.//). The workmen commenced pulling down the old 
, boose and the houses upon the Mark quay, Sunderland, 
preparatory to the erection of staiths in connexion with the bun- 
durhmd and Durham railway. 

/ \ /)/ ./l 2. Was presented to Mrs. Hood, the lady ot J. L. 
Hoo.l, esq., the last mayor of the old corporation of Newcastle, a 
sph-ndid tureen, for the purchase of which 100 were voted by 
.mmon council, on her having a daughter during the 
mayoralty. The tureen is as much deserving of praise for its 
rreiienil form as for the skill with which all the minutrc of the 
work upon it has been finished. On one side are the arms of 
Hood, on the other the following inscription : " To Mrs. Hood, 
Mayoress of Newcastle, this token of regard and admiration was 
presented by the Common Council, on the occasion of the birth of 
a daughter, Theodosi Rose, in the Mansion House. A.D. 1835." 

April. 14* Died, in Pilgrim-street, Newcastle, aged 100, Mary, 
mother of Mr. John Smith, victualler, of the High-bridge. 

April 20. The birthday of his grace the Duke of Northumber- 
land, having completed his fiftieth year, was celebrated as 
usual at Alnwick, by a public dinner in the Town-hall. At 
Chirton, North Shields, and other places on his grace's estates 
similar rejoicings took place, the duke being a liberal contributor 
towards the expenses incurred. 

M<tij 4. A man named Robinson, and five boys, were 
unfortunately killed at Whitley colliery, in consequence of the 
hook which is appended to the chain not having been properly 
put into the bow of the corf which the unfortunate sufferers were 
in, by which oversight they fell from the top to the bottom of the 
pit, a depth of forty five fathoms. 

Mmj 5. This morning about three o'clock, a fire broke out in 
the Salutation Inn, Tynemouth, Northumberland, which threatened 
destruction to the adjoining property, but the prompt arrival of the 
engine from the castle, and the able assistance of Captain Hughes, 
Lieutenant Stoney, and a number of soldiers, prevented the flames 
from doing further damage than the complete destruction of the 

J/r/y 18. The service connected with laying the foundation- 
stone of the Providence chapel, Marlborough-crescent, Newcastle, 
was attended to on this day, when a suitable address was delivered 
on the occasion by Mr. John Poynder, of Lockwood, Yorkshire. 
This chapel was opened on the 23rd of September following. 

J/'/// 31. A stout, ragged, dirty-looking man, begging "in the 
town of Morpeth, was taken into custody, and on his person was 
found the following amount, 349 Is. 7d., viz. : Bank Bill of 
British Linen Company, No. 4931, April 30th, 1835, for 125 5s. 
Bd, ; Bank of Scotland, No. 10938, April 30th, for 35 ; Bank 
ot Scotland, No. 10957, May 1st., 1835, for 186 3s. lid. ; silver 
copper, 12s. ; his name was Robert Ferguson, a native of 
Her wick-upon -Tweed. 


1835 (JunelQ.) This day, Newcastle and neighbourhood, were 
visited by a violent storm, which was attended with loss of life, 
and considerable loss of property. At G-ateshead Low Fell, a 
woman named Dawson in an advanced state of pregnancy, was 
struck by the lighting, while standing at her cottage door, and 
killed on the spot. The electric fluid had entered by the chimney, 
destroying a bedstead, after which it struck the poor woman, and 
then passed through the roof of the cottage, shattering the tiles to 
atoms. The husband had a narrow escape, his hat being laid flat 
to his head. At Durham, the thunder and lightning were awful, 
accompanied by a heavy fall of rain. The spire of one of the 
western towers of the Cathedral, was struck by electric fluid, and 
a portion of the pinnacle thrown some distance into the church-yard. 
At Shotley Bridge, the storm of hail and rain was truly alarming, 
pieces of ice fell near four inches in circumference, which soon 
melted, and caused the Derwent to overflow, which did consider- 
able damage, particularly to the fields near Mr. Annandale's paper 
works. On the llth, a woman, named Cawthorn, was struck 
dead in a cottage at Ebchester, and another was much burnt. The 
house of Mr. Watson, farmer, Wallbottle, was also entered by the 
lighting, the chimney rent from top to bottom, and the windows 
broken to pieces. One person was struck by the fluid, and was 
paralysed for some hours. Mrs. Watson was much burnt, and a 
person in the next house was severely scorched. The houses of 
Mr. Maddison, of Wandon, and Mr. Grey, of East Lilburn, were 
also struck, the lightning passing through nearly every room. 
Sunderland, Shields, and other places, were also visited by the 

June II. A few minutes before three o'clock, in an instant, and 
without a moments warning, three houses on the south side of 
Market -street, Newcastle, in the course of erection by Mr. 
Grainger, fell with a tremendous crash, and the men being at 
work, they were precipitated along with them, and buried in the 
ruins. At the time of the catastrophe the buildings had nearly 
reached their intended height, and upwards of 100 men were at 
work upon, and immediately around them. It had thundered 
several times just before the accident, and those who were standing 
near the spot, described the noise which attended the catastrophe 
as equally loud and sudden as a clap of thunder. The occurrence 
caused the greatest consternation, and measures were immediately 
adapted for disinterring those who had been buried by the materials. 
In the course of half an hour twelve men were got out, three dead, 
and nearly all the rest greatly injured. Up to three o'clock on 
Friday morning, fifteen men had been extricated, four of whom 
were dead, ten removed to the Infirmary, and John Kilgour, the 
foreman of the masons, who was removed to his own house, died 
in a few hours afterwards. Of those sent to the infirmary two 
afterwards died. Many of the workmen did themselves great 
credit by their intrepidity and the exertions they made to recover 
their unfortunate companions, labouring as they did in the midst 


of "ivat danger from the shattered state of the walls left standing, 
and which from their leaning position seemed likely to fall every 
moment. By the directions of the mayor and magistrates a party 
of military were placed around the Nuns-field to prevent the 
ingress of the populace, which might have caused further accidents. 
No satisfactory reason could be given for the falling of the pro- 
perty, but the opinion most generally entertained was that the 
building had been struck by lightning, which had been prevalent 
for some time previous. Mr. Grainger himself had been inspecting 
the workmen a minute or two before, and was at the time of the 
accident on the scaffolding of an adjoining building. 

1835 (June 12.) Two splendid and massive soup tureens, with 
stands, &c., were presented at the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, to 
John Hodgson, esq., late M.P. for that town, as a token of respect 
on the part of the subscribers for the manner in which he had 
acted as their representative in three successive parliaments, 
Sanderson Ilderton, esq., officiated as chairman, and presented the 
plate in the name of the subscribers with a suitable speech. Mr. 
Hodgson returned thanks in an address which drew forth repeated 
cheers from a large company which had assembled on the 

June 13. After several years labour the owners of Monk- 
wearmouth colliery, (Messrs. Thompson, Pemberton, and Co.), 
succeeded in loading the first vessel placed under their improved 
staith, with a cargo of coals. The workmen on the occasion were 
profusely regaled with strong ale, and great rejoicing took place 
throughout the whole of the day. 

June 15. Died, in Pilgrim-street, Newcastle, Miss Colling- 
wood, last surviving sister of Admiral Lord Collingwood. 

June 18. This afternoon about two o'clock, one of those 
dreadful explosions took place, which have been so lamentably 
frequent in mining districts, at one of Mr. Russell's collieries, at 
Wallsend, known by the name of the Church Pit, or Russell's Old 
Wallsend, by which twenty-six men and seventy-five boys lost 
their lives, leaving twenty-four widows and eighty-three children 
to lament their fate. The number of work-people employed in 
this colliery was about 220, one hundred and five of whom were in 
the mine at the time of the explosion. The colliery was inspected 
in the morning by the under-viewer, when it was considered to be 
perfectly safe ; and four " overmen" and " deputies" who were 
among the sufferers, had been acquainted with the pit for thirty 
years. The catastrophe was made known to the banksman by a 
considerable report, which they spoke of as being like an earth- 
quake, accompanied by a rushing of choke-damp to the mouth of 
the shaft, bringing up some of the pitmen's clothes, and other light 
articles from the bottom. On the alarm being given, the vicinity 
of the mine was soon thronged with anxious enquirers, but it was 
mnd impossible to enter the workings until the next day, when 

> after-damp had partially cleared away. During this long 
terra! the anguish of the relations of the workmen may easily be 


conceived. On the following day twenty-one bodies were removed, 
and the work of humanity was persevered in, until all the bodiea 
had been found and taken to their sorrowing friends. But on the 
21st, to the astonishment of every one connected with the colliery, 
four of the unfortunate creatures were found to be alive. They 
were immediately brought up with the most assiduous care, and 
eager hopes were infused into the hearts of many, that others 
would be found who had been similarly favoured. This pleasing 
hope was however soon dispelled. These men thus rescued from 
a terrible fate, could give no idea of their mode of preservation. 
They were at times quite delirious, and had no idea of the time 
which elapsed between the occurrence of the accident and that of 
their fortunate rescue. The scene at Wallsend on the 22nd was 
especially distressing ; numbers were buried there, and it was a 
painful sight to see two and even three bodies brought from the 
same house and borne away amid the agonized cries of their 
relations. No cause could be assigned for this dreadful calamity, 
which was the second great explosion that had occurred at the pit. 

1835 (June 26.) The foundation-stone of Salem chapel, for the 
use of the Methodist New Connexion built by Mr. Grainger, 
in Hood-street, Newcastle was laid by Wm. Ridgway, esq., of 
Northvvood, Staffordshire Potteries, who delivered an appropriate 
speech on the occasion. Afterwards, about two hundred and 
fifty of the friends took tea at the Music Hall. 

June 26. A young angler named Robert Donkin left Rothbury 
in the morning to enjoy the delightful recreation of fly fishing. 
Having filled his creel in a short time, he was obliged to borrow 
an apron from a cottage during his excursion ; and, after enjoying 
the charms of the romantic dales and pleasant streams, which 
present in their course every variety of smooth water, rapids, and 
pools for the exercise of the angler's skill, he finally returned home 
with the very extensive stock of eighteen dozen fine trouts, which 
he had caught with a single hook during the day. 

June 28. On the casting of a hive of bees at Walsingham, the 
swarm alighted on a young woman and covered her from her 
shoulders to the crown of her head, forming a complete hood ; and 
what is most remarkable, they were hived without her receiving a 
single sting. 

June 29. The first exhibition of the Newcastle Society of Artists 
took place in the Academy of Arts, Blackett-street, Newcastle. 
The collection of paintings and sculpture, about two hundred 
specimens, was mostly executed by resident artists. The three 
Richardsons contributed 42 of the number, Carmichael 18, Thorpe 
30, Mackneth 14, and Snow 14. 

July 2. The first cargo of coals from Haswell colliery was 
shipped at Seaham, when great rejoicings took place. The winning 
of this colliery cost upwards of 100,000. 

July 9. That stupendous undertaking, the Hartlepool docks 
and harbour, was opened for the shipment of coal and merchandize. 
The day being extremely fine great rejoicings took place, The 


first shipment of coals was made in the Britannia, of Sunderland. 
Havin" taken her cargo on board, she proceeded to sea, amid the 
ringing of bells, the firing of cannon, and the acclamations of those 
Avho had assembled to witness the ceremony. 

1835 (July ) This month, whilst some workmen were opening 
out an old pit near Whickhain, county of Durham, which had 
closed upwards of eighty years, they found at the bottom, 
'28 fathoms, a live toad, which was presented to John Watson, 
AVhickham. It is still more singular how the animal could exist 
in the foul air, as the men had to erect a brattice to ventilate the 
shaft before they could enter. 

July 30. About half-past ten o'clock in the forenoon, the 
boiler attached to the extensive worsted and carpet factory of 
Messrs. John and William Henderson, Durham, exploded with 
tremendous force, carrying away the walls, &c., of the engine- 
room, scattering in fragments a large chimney, the factory bell, 
clock, and appendages, and doing great damage to the adjacent 
buildings. The part of the boiler which was blown away rose in 
the air like a balloon, and fell with a loud crash on the opposite 
shore of the Wear, a distance of upwards of 100 yards. The 
number of workmen in the building at the time was about 170, 
but the personal injuries received were confined to nine persons, 
who were buried by the falling materials, and three of these 
expired shortly after, 

July 30. The royal assent was given to the Brandling Junction 
railway bill. 

August 17. The trustees of the Derwent and Shotley Bridge 
Turnpike Road, opened that part of the line, which leads from. 
Axwell Park Gate to Long Close Gate, near Hamsterley, the 
distance six miles. This useful road passes through a hilly and 
beautifully wooded district, yet it is in all parts of easy inclination ; 
it winds through the most picturesque part of the North of England, 
and the traveller on business or pleasure must be highly gratified 
by the many splendid views and great variety of delightful 

August 21. A neat Wesleyan Chapel was opened at Edmond- 
Byers, in the county of Durham. 

August 26. The very handsome stone bridge across North Tyne, 
at Bellingham, was opened to the public, amidst the rejoicings of a 
large assemblage of persons from the surrounding country. 

A nt/ust 28. Died, at Eltringham, aged 91, much respected, Mr. 
Matthew Johnson. During the great flood in the Tyne, in 1771, 
v/n'c/i see, the house in which he resided, near Ovingham boat- 
house, was thrown down by the current, when Johnson and part 
of his family saved their lives by catching hold of a tree, to which 
they clung until the water subsided. 

September 14. This day, Daniel O'Connell, esq., M. P., visited 
Newcastle, on which occasion the town presented a very animated 
appearance, from the number of persons assembled to witness his 
arrival. At twelve o'clock, a number of gentlemen met in St. 


Nicholas Square, where a large hustings had been erected, and 
shortly after, Mr. J. Fife having taken the chair, an address of 
congratulation was agreed upon for presentation to Mr. O'Connell. 
The parties then left the hustings, and proceeded with three bands 
of music and numerous banners to Gateshead, to meet the learned 
gentleman. At about half-past two Mr. O'Connell was met by an 
immense concourse of people at Sunderland Road-End, those who 
were more immediately connected with the arrangements, forming 
themselves into a procession, in which they walked four abreast. 
In this order they reached St. Nicholas' Square, where Mr. 
O'Connell was hailed with deafening applause. Mr. Fife again took 
the chair, and Mr. Larkin presented the address which had been 
agreed upon. Mr. O'Connell .afterwards addressed the assembly 
at some length amidst great enthusiasm. At five o'clock, about 
three hundred and forty gentlemen sat down to dinner in the 
Music-hall, in Blackett-street, John Fife, esq., in the chair. 

1835 (September 16.) John Jobling was unfortunately killed 
on Lord Durham's railway, near Bishopwearmouth, by several 
waggons running over him. What is remarkable, his son lost his 
life in the same manner a few years before ; also his son-in-law. 

September 26. As W. A. Mitchell, of Newcastle, was fishing 
with the rod from the rocks at the south end of Cullercoats sands, 
he perceived a large fish apparently entangled amongst some weeds. 
After some efforts, it was forced into a hole amongst the rocks, 
and with the skilful aid of another gentleman, the- fish was secured 
by means of a spear which was attached to the bottom part of Mr. 
Mitchell's rod. It proved to be a fine specimen of the Sophius 
Piscatorius, which, by the singular management of the fins, by 
paddling the water, and the elevation of the slender horns which 
are near its eyes, manages to catch fish by a mode much resembling 
angling, and which has procured it the name of " The Angler." 
It weighed 441b., and was about a yard and a half long and half a 
yard broad. 

October 1. A curious circumstance occurred in the Tyne, 
at North Shields. A person in the employ of Messrs. Cornfoot, 
Carr, and Co., North Shields, while busy with his daily occupation 
on the Low-lights shore, observed an unusual ripple in the water, 
when, to his astonishment, he observed a large cod fish, about 
three feet long, which having attempted to swallow a sole about 
fifteen inches long, and not being able either to swallow or eject 
it, had in its agony made towards the shore, and was the occasion 
of its capture. 

October 3. Died, in the 31st year of his age, Mr. John 
Mackay Wilson, during several years editor of the Berwick 
Advertizer, and author of various compositions in prose and 
poetry. " The Tales of the Borders," a periodical work, were 
projected, and to a considerable extent written, by Mr. Wilson, 
and they enjoyed an almost unexampled popularity for some time. 

October 8. At night an immense mass of limestone rock 
projecting from the south bank of the river Wear, near Lord 


Durham's drops, fell with a tremendous force into the river. 
Fortunately no vessel was in the berth at the time or inevitable 
destruction must have ensued. The weight of the stone was 
supposed to be about six hundred tons. 

l,s:55 (October 12.) About eight o'clock a.m., William Dickson, 
esq., of Alnwick, and Mr. T. J. Turnbull, clerk to the magistrates, 
had a very narrow escape from serious injury. Those gentlemen 
were, in a chaise on their return to Newcastle from Tynemouth, On 
reaching the railway upon which the coals are conveyed from the 
Cramlington and Seghill collieries to the river Tyne, and which 
crosses the road about two miles from Shields, they were alarmed 
by observing from the window of the vehicle a train of loaded 
waggons coming along the self-acting inclined plane, so near as to 
render it probable the chaise would be run down. The driver, 
however, whipped his horses and used great exertions, but, not- 
withstanding which, the foremost waggon struck the hinder part 
of the chaise, broke in the panel, and overturned the vehicle into 
the road. The shock was so tremendous as to upset the first 
waggon of the train, and throw several others off the railroad. 
The driver of the chaise was likewise thrown down with great 
violence, and injured in his head and thigh. Had the chaise been 
struck in the centre, instead of near the hind part, the consequence 
must have been fatal to Mr. Dickson and Mr. Turnbull. 

October 22. The completion of the new markets at Newcastle 
by Mr. Grainger was celebrated by a public dinner, at which 
nearly 2,000 individuals sat down under one roof, that of the 
green market, forming a mere section of the splendid erections. 
These markets are the most magnificent in the world. This will 
be apparent from a comparative statement of the new markets in 
Newcastle with the most extensive in Great Britain. Hungerford 
market, in London, in point of grandeur and architectural effect, 
is allowed to surpass Covent Garden, and these, with St. John's, 
in Liverpool, are the only markets with which any comparison need 
be instituted. As regards the space occupied, Newcastle market 
is larger than Hungerford in the proportion of 13,906 square yards 
to 6,400 square yards, and exceeds St. John's, in Liverpool, in the 
proportion of 13,906 to 8,235 square yards. In this calculation 
the shops adjoining the market are included, and so far as their 
situation and their nature of occupation are concerned, the area 
upon which they stand may properly be considered part of the 
market. The shops fronting the markets in Clayton-street and 
Grainger-street are in length 410 feet each, and in Nun-street and 
Nelson-street 312 feet. These erections, during the time of their 
progress, were not only objects of great interest to the inhabitants 
ot Newcastle and the surrounding towns, but also to strangers 

om a distance, including many distinguished noblemen and 

gentlemen. The area occupied by the markets exceeds two acres. 

! butcher market consists of four spacious avenues, 19 feet 4 

s broad, and 27 feet high, extending in length 338 feet, and 

Qtaimng m each about 48 butchers' shops, well lighted and 

A.D. 1835- | REMARKABLE KVENT3. 41 

ventilated. The walls and ceilings are plastered, the latter being 
ornamented with intersecting plaster beams, and in the eastern 
avenue the rays of light descend from 50 skylights, through the 
apertures in the coffer ceiling, with the most imposing effect. 
There are in the butcher market, besides these skylights, 3 GO 
windows, inclosed with cast iron glazed sashes, to open or shut as 
the state of the weather may require. The four principal avenues 
are connected by four rows of lofty arcades, 12 feet wide. The 
avenues are brilliantly lighted with gas, and the whole comprises a 
splendid bazaar of shops, which strikes the stranger on entering 
with astonishment and wonder beyond description. The vegetable 
market is connected with the butcher market by a continuation of 
the four arcades before described, and is entered from the 
surrounding streets by four other arcades or passageways, 12 feet 
wide, two in Clayton-street, one in Nun-street, and one in Nelson- 
Street, over each of which is placed a dome light. This building 
is erected in a different style from the butcher market, consisting 
of one stupendous hall, exceeding in dimensions the far-famed and 
justly-admired hall of Westminster. It is 314 feet in length, and 
59 feet in width within the fronts of the fruit shops, which, 
surround the interior. It is covered with a cathedral-framed roof, 
the timbers of which are planed and exposed to view. It is 
upwards of forty feet in height, and is supported by two rows of 
cast-iron pillars (to each of which a brilliant gas lamp is affixed), 
26 feet high, and is surrounded by a glazed lantern extending the 
full length of the hall, giving light to the centre, while the 
extremities are lighted by 10 i windows similar to those of the 
butcher market. In. mentioning the ornamental and useful conve- 
niences of the green market we must not omit to notice the two 
magnificent fountains, which in form and dimensions resemble the 
beautiful fountain in the gardens of the Borghese palace at Rome. 
They are constructed of the finest description of stone from the 
quarries at Ken ton, near Newcastle. 

When the day was fixed for opening the splendid markets we 
have feebly attempted to describe, there was a general wish to 
celebrate the event by a public dinner. The stewards of the 
incorporated companies agreed upon a plan of operation, and 
obtained the sanction of the mayor and the permission of Mr. 
Grainger to carry it into effect. A public announcement was 
then made that the dinner would take place in the vegetable 
market, and to enable those in a humble station as well as those 
in the higher walks of life to participate in the festive scene, it 
was determined that the price of admission to one end of the hall 
should be 2s. each, including dinner and ale, and that the tickets 
to the north-east end should be 5s. each, including dinner and 
wine. To render the hall as comfortable as circumstances would 
admit every avenue except one was closed, the spaces for vertical 
windows, which are now enclosed in cast iron glazed sashes, were 
covered with canvas, and the magnificent space was brilliantly 
lighted up with gas. The effect was indescribably grand. The 


partial exclusion of daylight and the substitution of gas lamps gave 
the magnificent scene a dioramic effect The spacious roof when 
the eye rested upon it for a few moments, seemed to rise into the 
air, and the distance from one end of the hall to the other appeared 
amazing. Upwards of 2,000 individuals sat down to dinner, and 
this immense company congregated at only a few days notice. 
The ladies gallery was filled, there being present about three 
hundred, including Mrs. Mayoress and many other ladies of dis- 
tinction, which gave the hall a gay and cheerful appearance. In 
many instances 105. and even 15s. premium were given for a 
ticket that had only cost 5s. For this fine building the corporation 
paid 36,290., hut from that amount 15,000. was deducted for 
the old market, demolished by Mr. Grainger. On the following 
Saturday the markets were opened. The quantity of meat on offer 
exceeded anything previously seen in the north of England, and in 
the green market the flowers, fruit, arid vegetables, were spread 
around in almost boundless profusion. It was splendidly decorated 
and the fountains playing at intervals had a most striking effect. 
The bells rang out many a merry peal, and the occasion was 
regarded by every one as auspicious for the town. 

1835 (October 2Q.) Newcastle and the surrounding district 
was visited by a severe storm of wind and rain. In many exposed 
situations trees were torn up by the roots and other damage 
incurred. In the neighbourhood of Bc-rvvick the storm increased 
to a hurricane, attended with heavy rain and snow upon the hills. 
The Tweed, in the space of eight hours, rose full ten feet ; and 
the country was much inundated. 

Mr. Briggs, the keeper of Lambton Park, killed two deer with 
one shot from a rifle, though the animals were at the time 16 yards 
from each other. The ball passed through the head of the nearest 
in an oblique direction and hit the second on the side of the head, 
which it nearly penetrated. It was impelled with such force and 
precision that bath animals died without a struggle and apparently 
at the same point of time. 

November 1. The body of a young man about 19 years of age, 
named Thomas Thorsby, was found lying on the edge of a lime 
kiln at the Skinners burn, near Newcastle, quite dead, and with 
one of his legs completely burned off. He was addicted to intem- 
perance, and frequently went to the lime kilns to sleep. 

November 2. As the mail coach was returning from Carlisle 
to Newcastle, it was upset at a place called Coastly dean, 
about two miles west of Hexham. One of the wheel horses fell 
nd the remaining horses with the coach were precipitated into the 
ravine, the coach rolling over two or three times, until it was 
stopped by a tree. The coachman, John Atkin, was thrown from 

a seat and was so dreadfully mangled that he died almost 

mediately. Two outside passengers and the jrnard escaped by 
eapmg off the coach. Two ladies and three children who were 

nde also escaped uninjured, although they rolled down the bank 
The passengers and mail bags were forwarded 
to Newcastle in a chaise. 


1835 (November 5.) As the train of railway waggons attached 
to the Rapid steam-engine were proceeding to Newcastle from 
Hexham, a cow in one of the cattle trucks became alarmed at the 
noise made by the engine, and actually leapt over the rails of the 
pen with the greatest ease. The poor animal, though she rolled 
down the steep bank, escaped without any injury ; and as soon as 
she recovered herself, she galloped after the waggons. The 
engine was stopped, and the train taken back to the station, where 
the cow was re-placed, and properly secured with ropes. 

November 9. A golden eagle was winged, and with some 
difficulty secured by Mr. Davies, of Waterloo, near Blyth Link 
House, Northumberland. It was two and a half feet long, and the 
extent of its wings nearly seven feet. 

November 14. The first number of the " Berwick and Kelso 
Warder," a weekly Conservative journal, was published in 
Berwick by Mr. Thomas Ramsay, the proprietor. 

November 19. An explosion took place in Burdon Main 
Colliery, situated a little to the westward of North Shields, owing 
to the carelessness of a boy, who had neglected to close a door, by 
which a proper circulation of air had been prevented. A little 
after three o'clock in the afternoon, some of the workmen in the 
Low Main seam of the middle pit were alarmed at what they too 
truly knew to be an explosion of foul air in the adjoining workings, 
and on proceeding to the spot, they found that as a deputy named 
James Campbell was going his usual rounds, an accumulation of 
foul air had taken fire at his candle, and produced the melancholy 
accident by which eleven human beings were instantly deprived 
of existence. The mine had always been so uncommonly free 
from foul air, that the men invariably worked with candles, a 
lamp never having been used in the workings. Unlike the 
generality of such accidents, the origin of the present explosion 
was soon discovered. It was found to have been caused by the 
negligence of the boy named Arkley, only ten years of age, and 
who was one of the sufferers. This poor lad had neglected to 
close a door, which it was his sole business to keep shut, and 
which even by standing open fifteen minutes would occasion a 
sufficient accumulation of foul air to cause the explosion. The 
force of the blast had been so exceedingly powerful that nothing 
seemed to have been able to resist its progress. No time was lost 
in endeavouring to get at the poor sufferers ; and at considerable 
risk from the afterdamp the whole of the bodies were in a short 
time recovered. 

November 21. A little before eleven o'clock at night, the 
corn and hay-stacks belonging to Mr. Martin Brown, at Scaffold 
hill, near Long Benton, Northumberland, were discovered to be on 
fire. When the alarm was given, Mr, Brown and his family were 
in bed. The whole of the stacks 5 of wheat, 5 of oats, 3 of hay, 
and 1 of tares were entirely consumed ; and it was only by great 
exertions that the adjoining buildings were saved. The fire was 
occasioned by some sparks from the chimney of the herd's house. 


1835 (November 21.; In consequence of the great quantity of 
rain which fell on this and the preceding day, the river Tync rose 
very suddenly, overflowed its banks, and covered the low fields 
from near Ryton to the Redheugh. Some men, at the risk of their 
lives, saved a considerable number of sheep ; but many others were 
swept off the haughs, called the Hassocks, and drowned. Mr. 
Henry Gill, of \Villiamstone, was unfortunately drowned 
attempting to cross the North Tyne. 

November 23. The branch railway having been completed 
froiii South Hetton Colliery, coal was first shipped at Hartlepool 
from that pit. 

November 25. A most desperate attempt to escape was made 
by three convicts in Newcastle gaol, of the names of Rogers, 
Stcrrit, and Legget. About seven o'clock, Smith, the turnkey was 
summoning them from the day-room to their usual night apartments, 
and whilst they were going up stairs, Legget seized a long brush, 
and with a violent blow he cut the turnkey's head. Smith, though 
stunned, was not incapable of giving an alarm, and assistance was 
soon got, by which the three desperadoes were heavily ironed. 
The attack was no doubt a preliminary step to an escape ; for on 
searching the room, they found the table broken up, and their 
bedding converted into a rope about 40 feet long. 

November 26. An inquest was held at Redlees, in the parish 
of Alwinton, in the county of Northumberland, before Thomas A. 
Russell, esq., coroner, on view of the body of Mr. James Douglass, 
aged 67 years, a Highland stock farmer, residing at that place. 
It appeared that the deceased had left home about two o'clock on 
the Thursday preceding with two friends. Blind Burn was the last 
place they were at, and they left there in the evening; and it being 
very wet and dark, and a thick fog setting down upon the hills, a 
person guided them so far over the Fell. After leaving them they 
lost their way ; but the deceased's two companions arrived at the 
Redlees that night, and told the shepherds that their master was 
lost upon the Fell. They immediately went in search of him, and 
found him the following morning lying at the foot of a precipice, 
from 60 to 70 yards high, called Birkey Shank Hill, where he had 
gone over with his horse : both were quite dead. The deceased, 
though an eccentric character, was well known and much respected 
in that part of the country. 

November 28. The new bridge at Alston was opened to the 
public, though not quite completed. 

This month, the Newcastle and North of England Insurance 
Company, with a capital of 300,000, was established. After an 
existence of about two years, the interest of the company was sold 
to the proprietors of the York and London lusurance Company. 

December 1. The authorities of the extensive parish of Monk- 
wearmouth met at nine o'clock in the morning for the purpose of 
riding the boundaries, a duty that had not been performed for 
forty-two years. 


1835 (December 1.) Died, in South Shields, aged 100, Mrs. 
Cecilia Russell, many years employed in the salt pans there. 

December 8. The corporation of Newcistlo perambulated the 
ne.v boundaries of that borough according to the Corporation 
Reform Act, which comprises the Westgate, Elswick, Jesmond, 
Heaton, and Byker. These townships now constitute ;part of the 
town and county of Ncwcastle-upon Tyne. At ten o'clock in the 
morning the company assembled on the Sandhill, with the right 
worshipful John Lionel Hood, esq., mayor, the town clerk, the 
sheriff, the stewards of the incorporated companies,*and several 
gentlemen on horseback, in number upwards of one hundred, and 
returned to the Sandhill about three o'clock. Some of the horse- 
men were thrown from their seats, but no accident of any moment 

December 10. The common council of Newcastle agreed to 
sell to the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway Company two acres 
of ground in Featherstone's field, and the Spital for the purpose 
of erecting a railway station on the site. 

December 16. In consequence of doubts having been enter- 
tained whether Sunderland was a corporation entitled to the 
benefit of the Corporation Reform Act, the opinion of the attorney 
general was taken upon the point, and he replied in the affirmative. 
He also gave it as his opinion that the duties of chief officer, for 
carrying the provisions of that act into effect, devolved as a matter 
of right upon the freemen. In consequence of this opinion, a 
requisition, very numerously signed, was presented to B. Ogden, 
esq., the senior freemen, soliciting him to act as chief officer on the 
occasion, but, in consequence of his age and indisposition, lie 
politely declined the honour, as did also Messrs. 13. Bray, C. 
Bramwell, and T, Parker, the next three in succession to Mr. 
Ogden. Mr. Spoor, however, the next freemen in seniority, 
acceded to the wishes of the reqnisitionists, and a public meeting 
was held on the above day, A. Wright, esq., in the chair, at which 
the thanks of the burgesses were voted to Mr. Spoor, and a com- 
mittee was appointed to secure the benefit of the reform act to 
the borough. On the 17th another meeting was held, when Mr. 
A. Fenwick, Mr, R. Pemberton, Mr. Win. Featherstonhuugh, and 
others agreed that there was no necessity for such a change, as the 
act would produce, that the measure was for the reformation of 
old corporations, and not the creation of new ones ; and that 
Sunderland could not have a legally constituted corporation without 
a charter from the king. Messrs. Kidson, Abbs, and others replied, 
and their views were adopted by a large majority of the meeting. 
A quo warmnto was soon after applied for by the opponents of the 
corporation, but, previous to the proceedings upon that writ being 
carried out, a clause was inserted in the Municipal Corporation 
Act Amendment Bill of the following session, expressly introducing 
the name of the town, and prescribing its boundaries. This was 
expected to terminate the altercation, but the bill was thrown out 
by the House of Lords, August 18, 1836. and the legality of the 


corporation was again a subject of doubt. Another quo warranto 
was issued September, 1836, against the Mayor (A. White, esq.), 
and as the county magistrates refused to acknowledge his aet.3, 
his worship sat at one hour and the magistrates at another in the 
same hall. After a protracted struggle the opponents of the 
corporation at length abandoned the field. 

l:-):j5 (December 21.) A fire was discovered in a stable adjoining 
the farmhouse of Mr. William Taylor, of Nettlesworth Hall, about 
four miles north from Durham, and though the flames were 
prevented from extending, four valuable horses were destroyed. 
And on Thursday morning the 24th, as one of the men was leaving 
the house after breakfast, he discovered that every one of Mr. 
Taylor's stacks were in a blaze. A message was immediately sent 
to Durham for the fire-engines, but before they arrived, or other 
assistance could be obtained, the entire stock in the yard was con- 
sumed, consisting of seventeen large wheat and oat stacks, one pea 
stack, and a hay stack, A thrashing machine was likewise burnt, 
besides great injury being done to the house and other premises. 
The total loss was estimated at upwards of 1,000, only a small 
portion of which was insured. No doubt existed that both fires 
were the work of incendiaries. 

December 25. A beautiful piece of road leading from Westgate- 
street. Newcastle, to the Scots wood-road, near the Infirmary, was 
opened. The subscription band of music, under the direction of 
Mr. Hudson, played in the front, a chariot, in which were Mr. 
Pearson, the surveyor, Mr. Dobson, the architect, &c., and several 
thousands followed after, much delighted with the improvement. 
This road was afterwards called Neville-street, The Central 
Station, with its beautiful portico and magnificent hotel, occupied 
by Mr. J. B. Jeffery, now forms one side of it. 

December 26. At Newcastle, the first election of town 
councillors under the new Corporation Reform Act took place on 
Saturday, the 2Cth of December, 1835, and on the 28th the result 
imounccd in the Guildhall by J. L. Hood, esq., the returning 
officer. The following are the numbers of votes polled by the 
successful candidates : John Fife, 165 votes; Addison L. 
Potter, 151: Thomas Doubleday, 130; Robert Robinson, 121; 
George Boyd, 86 ; John Nichol. 85. St John's Ward James 
-<>n, 264; Emmerson Charnley, 234; Jacob R. Feather- 
Si; Isaac Burrell, 178; George Bargate, 161; Abraham 
)aw8on, 155. All Saints' West Ward James Sillick, 180; 
John Spedding, jun., 1(59; W. B. Proctor, 160; Joshua Johnson, 
Benjamin Bradshaw, 102; Alexander Reed, 96. All Saints' 
FFord Stephen Lowrey, 203; Joseph Crawhall, 187; 
Anthony Lastcrby, 172; Henry Shield, 170 ; Robert Rayne, 145 ; 
illiam Wright, 140. St. Andrew's South Ward Charles John 
'^ge, lir> ; John L. Hood, 145; John Brandling, 139; Henry 
"11, 132; Anthony Nichol, 114; Christopher Myers, 98. St. 
nys North Ward-T. E. Headlam, 218 ; R. P. Philipson, 
; ihomas Bell, 174; Edward Lowrey, 132; Thomas Dunn 


125 ; James Archbold, 122. Westgate Ward Jamo.s Finlay, 119 ; 
Joseph Lamb, 114 ; George T. Dunn, 99. Jesmond Ward 
Robert Plummer, 113 ; John Ridley, 113 ; Armorer Donkin, 110. 
The following gentlemen were elected aldermen : Charles John 
Bigge, T. E. Headlam, John Spedding, James Losh, George 
Thomas Duun, Anthony Easterby, Colonel Bell, Armorer Donkin, 
John Fife, A. L. Potter, Thomas Batson, John Ridley, John 
Fenwick, and James Hodgson. Charles John Bigge, esq., was 
appointed mayor, Thomas Dunn, esq., sheriff, and John Clayton, 
esq., town clerk. 

Great was the excitement manifested by all parties in the 
borough of Gateshead for several days previous to the election of 
councillors, which took place on the same day, when the following 
gentlemen were chosen for the respective wards : West Ward 
James Pollock, 144 ; Thomas Cummins, 101 ; John Barras, 97 ; 
John Fairbairn, 93 ; Edmund Graham, 89 ; John Bell Johnson, 
85. East Ward George Hawks, 143 ; James Hymers, 85 ; 
John Abbott, 84 ; John Colman, 79 ; Benjamin Matchett, 78 ; J. 
Greene, 73. South Ward George Sowerby, 94 ; Thomas Wilson, 
93 ; William Henry Brockett, 91 ; Robert Davis, 90 ; Michael 
Hall, 88 ; Robert Robson, 82. The aldermen appointed were 
John Abbott, George Hawks, John Barras, James Pollock, 
Michael Hall, and Thomas Wilson. George Hawks, esq., was 
elected mayor, and William Kell, esq., town clerk. 

The election of town councillors for Sunderland was conducted 
with much interest and good order. On December the 29th Mr. 
Spoor, the chief officer, declared the following councillors elected: 
Sunderland Ward John Barry, jun., 100; Joseph Lee, 89; 
Thomas Taylor, 73 ; William Kirk, jun., 72 ; Jeremiah Sowerby, 
60 ; William Boyes Walker, 58. Bishopwearmonth Ward 
Andrew White, 132 ; Thomas Marwood, jun., 75 ; George Booth, 
61; Robert Spoor, 60 ; Thomas Brown, jun., 44; John Aitkin, 
39. Monkwearmouth Ward James Allison, 191 ; Cooper Abbs, 
163; Thomas Speeding, 132; Matthew Robson, jun., 121; 
George Wilkin Hall, 115 ; George Hudson, 106. West Ward 
Emerson Muschamp, 100 ; Andrew White 99 ; Barnabas Sharp, 
92 ; Philip Laing, 84 ; Henry Scott, 63 ; John G. Black, 60. 
Bridge Ward John Coull Carr, 123 ; John Hopper, 101 ; 
William Reid Clanny, 89 ; John Hutchinson, 85 ; Errington Bell 
Ord, 83 ; William Carr, 82. St. Michael's Ward'R. White, 88 ; 
Robert Burdon Cay, 75 ; John Lotherington, 73 ; Andrew 
Godfrey Bahn, 65 ; James Vint, 58 ; William Blackett, 56. East 
Ward Richard Spoor, 146; William Nicholson, 100 ; Thomas 
Reed, jun., 98; Thomas Reed, 85; Robert Dixon, 75; William 
French, 74. The following gentlemen were elected aldermen : 
Richard Spoor, Thomas Reed, jun., Barnabas Sharp, Philip Laing, 
William Kirk, jun., Thomas Taylor, Thomas Brown, jun., John 
Atkin, William Reid Clanny, J. C. Carr, James Allison, C. Abbs, 
R. White, and John Lotherington. Andrew White, esq., was 
elected mayor, and J. P. Kidson, esq., town clerk. 


The election for the town council in the city of Durham 
excited a irroat deal of interest and bustle during the day. The 
polling took place before the mayor and town clerk. There was 
little or no canvassing, and the election fell on the following 

persons: South I Yard Thomas Greenwell, 76; Edward Ship- 

perdson, (If, ; John Trotter, 65 ; John Barrel!, 50 ; Robert 
Rolxmi, 45; George Appleby, 44. St. NiMri Ward 
II. Marshall, 99; George Rob>on, 8i ; William Rippon, 77; 
John Henderson, 72; William Darling, 09; William Green, 08. 
North Ward John E, Marshall, 114; Robert Ovington, 111; 
K. HoiTirHt, DA; R- Stafford, 88; George Hade, 68 ; John 
r.ramwell, GO. The following gentlemen were chosen to be alder- 
men : John Bnrrell, Dr. Trotter, John Bramwell, Robert Robson, 

II. Marshall, and A. W. Hutchinson. Thomas Greenwell, esq., 
was appointed mayor, and John Hutchinson, esq.. town clerk. 

At Stockton the following were elected councillors : 
Chistopher Lodge, Robert Lamb, Christopher Martin, William 
Robinson, Thomas Walker, Robinson Watson, Joshua Byers, 
George Walton, Thomas Jennett, Robert Jordison, Joseph Wade, 
Samuel Braithwaite, George Applegarth, John R. Walker, 
William Skinner, sen., Christopher Coales, Thomas Heaviside, 
and Joseph Claxton. On the 31st, the councillors elected the 
following from their own body to be aldermen : William Skinner, 
sen., Robert Jordison, Christopher Lodge, Robert Lamb, Robinson 
Watson, and Thomas Walker. William Skinner, esq., was 
elected mayor, and Thomas Henry Faber, esq., town clerk. 

The election of councillors took place at Morpeth on the same 
day, the choice of the electors having fallen on the following 
gentlemen : A. Charlton, John Creighton, Richard Lewins, 
Thomas Jobling, Dr. Hedley, George Hood, William Clark, 
Robert Blakey, John Bates, Robert Hopper, Dr. Trotter, and 
William Singleton. Aldermen : Andrew Robert Fenwick, Thomas 
Bowser, Joseph Thew, and Thomas Bowman; Anthony Charlton, 
esq., was elected mayor ; and William Woodman, esq., town clerk. 

Preliminary meetings of the burgesses of Berwick-upon-Tweed 
were held, and lists of candidates proposed. The following are 
the names of the councillors elected : North Ward John Wilson, 
George K. Nicholson, George Gilchrist, John Clay, Thomas 
Chartres, and John Tait. South Ward John Millar Dickson, 
Robert Marshall, W. Marshall, Richard Reavely, William Young, 
and Robert Ramsey. Middle Ward George Bogue, Joseph 
Hnbback, George Johnstone, Patrick Mole, Alexander Moor, and 
Thomas Cockburn. The following gentlemen were elected 
aldermen: William Wilson, George Patterson, Thomas Thompson, 
Charles Uobson, John Dewar, and Thomas Bogue. John Wilson, 
e>([., was elected mayor, John Pratt, esq., sheriff, and Matthew- 
Jameson, esq , town clerk. 

Subsequent elections were held in each of the above boroughs 
to supply the vacancies occasioned by the election of councillors to 
the office of aldermen. 


1835 (December 31). The Exchange clock, at Sunderland, 
which had been out of use for nearly ten years, was set in motion, 
having been repaired and furnished with a new bell, the dials at 
night being illuminated with gas. 

December 31. A gold watch was lost in a field near Cramlington. 
The field was soon after sown, twice harrowed, once rolled, and 
twice weeded, and the watch was found on the 15th of September, 
1838, uninjured. 

1836 (January \). The foundation-stone of a new chapel was 
laid in Liaskill- street, North Shields, for the Methodist New Con- 

January 6. The Grenville Bay, whaler, of Newcastle, arrived 
in the Tyne, an event which was hailed as a joyous occasion at 
Tynemouth and North Shields. The colours of the Loyal Standard 
and Good Design Associations were hoisted at their offices, and 
the sands at the Low-lights and -South Shields were crowded with 
spectators, who evinced the pleasure they felt by heartily cheering 
the vessel and crew as she gallantly sailed up the river. The 
Grenville Bay had three fish and about seventy tons of oil. 
Captain Taylor and his crew generally were in good health, 
considering the distressing privations they had endured. The 
cook, unfortunately, fell overboard on the passage home. The 
crew were put upon full allowance on the vessel getting clear of 
the ice on the 16th December, and there remained on arrival 
about a ton and a half of beef and pork, and sixteen cwt. of bread, 
which were calculated to support the crew, on short allowance, 
till the beginning of May. Captain Taylor stated, that after the 
11 th November, the Grenville Bay, Lady Jane, and Norfolk 
continued to drift southward, having the Abram in sight. On the 
20th, saw the land, distant about forty miles, in lat. 64. The 
prevailing winds being easterly, they continued to drift southward 
and set shoreward, and on the 8th of December they were in the 
mouth of Hudson's bay, Resolution island bearing east 15 or 20 
miles. They were then carried by the current to Green island, 
and proceeded a considerable way in Ungava bay ; but, very 
fortunately, a current swept them along the land and round 
Batten's island, and carried them entirely out of Hudson's straits, 
where they were apprehensive at one time they would have to 
winter. There were frequent partial openings in the park of ice, 
and the ships took advantage to proceed eastward, and heavy 
swells aided their escape; but the vessels received some heavy 
blows from the ice. When the Grenville Bay got into the water 
on the 16th, the Lady June was not in sight, having set by the 
current to the westward the preceding day. This was in latitude 
58 50, and distant from the Labrador coast 30 miles. Several 
whales were seen in about lat. 61 30, and though the attempt 
was made to take them, it was unsuccessful, owing, probably, to 
the unfit state the crews were in for fishing, 

January 6. A fatal accident occured at the Downs pit, Hetton 
colliery. Philip Snooks and Matthew Rutherford, coal hewers, 



got into the loop to descend to work, when they fell to the bottom, 
a depth of 180 fathoms, in consequence of the loop not being 
properly fastened to the chain. Two masons who were working 
in the shaft at the time providentially escaped. 

1836 (January G.) According to an admeasurement by the 
town surveyor, the streets of Newcastle-upon-Tyne were found to 
extend upwards of twenty-eight miles in length. 

January !.. The Norfolk, whaler, of Berwick, arrived off that 
port this morning. The long-looked-for vessel anchored in the 
bay. The intelligence spread rapidly over the town, diffusing in 
its progress unalloyed gratification, and all classes were seen in 
groups travelling to the pier and ramparts to obtain a confirmation 
of the report. The Norfolk left the ice on the 14th of December, 
and arrived at the Orkney Islands on January 8th. The crew 
were free from disease, but generally, very weak. They had been 
on short allowance from the beginning of October. 

January 16. Died, at Monkend, near Croft, aged 85, Charles 
Colling, esq., the original breeder of Durham short-horned cattle. 
Of the surprizingly fat individuals of that variety numerous 
instances might be produced, but the one most deserving of notice 
was the far-famed Durham Ox, which was bred by the above Mr. 
Colling, at Ketton, in the year 1796. At an early age he indicated 
every disposition to fatten, and the expectations of the best judges 
were not disappointed. At five years old he was not only covered 
thick with fat upon all the principal points, but his whole carcase 
was loaded with it, and was then thought so wonderful an animal, 
and so far exceeding whatever had been seen before, that he was 
purchased to be exhibited as a show by Mr. Bulrner, of Harmley, 
near Bedale, in February, 1801, for 140; his living weight at 
that time being 220 stone, (14 Ibs. to the stone). Mr. Buhner got 
a carriage made to convey him in, and after travelling five weeks, 
sold him and the carriage at Rotheram to Mr. John ' Day, on the 
4th of May, for 250. On the 14th of May, Mr. Day could have 
sold him for 525 ; on the 13th of June, for 1,000 ; and on the 
8th of July, for 2,000, but Mr. Day preferred keeping him, and 
travelled with him nearly six years through the principal parts of 
England and Scotland, and arrived at Oxford in February, 1807, 
where, on the 19th, the Ox, by accident, dislocated his hip bone 
when he was obliged to be killed. 

Janwmj 21. The reformed town council of Newcastle-upon- 
lyne, decided, by a majority of 25 to 21, that the mansion- 

ise, on the system heretofore practised, should be discontinued; 
the mayor should receive 1,000 yearly, for the purpose of 
:eepmg up certain restricted hospitalities, &c. ; that the judges of 
should be lodged at the expense of the corporation, in a 
ither taken, built, or purchased, and that the mayor should 
Ins own house or have the option of dwelling in the house 
ofThe^udlr g hiS may ralt ?' ex <*pting during the stay 

/am<;/23.-About three o'clock in the mornin, the house of 


Mr. Dixon, glazier, Tyne-street, Newcastle, was discovered to be 
on fire by Mrs. Marshall, a washerwoman. The flames raged 
with such fury that in a few minutes the whole house was in a 
blaze. Mr. Dixon, his wife and six children, being unable to 
make their escape by the door, got out by the window. He had 
eight children, and at first hoped all their lives had been preserved, 
unfortunately, however, two fine girls, one thirteen and the other 
nine years of age, perished before their situation was known. 
The house furniture and 100 in money, together with all the 
stock in trade, were destroyed, and the whole family who escaped 
in their night clothes, lost the rest of their apparel. A subscrip- 
tion was immediately entered into for their relief, and the amount 
collected ultimately covered the entire pecuniary loss which Mr. 
Dixon had sustained. In connection with this melancholy event, 
the following incident is worthy of being recorded: A few days 
after the fire, Sir M. W. Ridley, bart., paid a visit to the Broad 
and Crown Glass Works, of which he was the principal proprietor, 
arid according to custom presented a sum of money among the 
workmen to drink his health. This pleasure, however, they 
generously denied themselves, and applied the gift in aid of the 
subscription for their unfortunate, neighbour, Mr. Dixon. This 
having been made known to the worthy baronet he was so much 
pleased with it that he repeated his donation as a reward for their 


1836 ( January 23J During the whole of this day, Newcastle and 
the northern district generally was visited with a violent storm 
of wind from the south west, which did considerable damage to 
the buildings in that and the neighbouring towns, by blowing 
down chimneys, unroofing houses, &c, A large chimney at 
Cowpen Quay salt works was blown down, the buildings were 
unroofed, and the walls greatly damaged. At North Shields the 


boats for some time were prevented from crossing the river, and 
the roofs of several houses were very much injured by the chim- 
neys falling. Morpeth and the neighbourhood suffered consider- 
able damage, a number of houses were unroofed and chimnies 
blown down. Meldon Park, the splendid seat of Isaac Cooksdn, 
e*q., was partly unroofed and a quantity of glass broken. At 
Shawdon Hall, the seat of Win. Kawson, esq., a magnificent 
painted window was totally destroyed. A woman was blown out 
of a cart on Alnwick moor and had her arm broken. Throughout 
the North and South Tyne the storm raged with great fury. At 
Capheaton, walls were blown down and trees of the largest 
dimensions were torn up by the roots, one of which falling upon 
Miss Isabella Robson, killed her on the spot. At Newcastle, the 
steeple of St. John's church was partially blown down, and the 
windows of the Baptist chapel, Marlborough-crescent, received 
considerable damage About six o'clock in the evening, the 
chimney connected with the retorts at the gas works was blown 
down and fell upon the roof of the building, under which the 
workmen were at the time employed. At the moment of the 
accident the greater portion of the roof, together with the west 
gable gave way, and fell with a tremendous crash. Six of the 
men were covered by the ruins, all of whom were speedily extri- 
cated. From the mass of materials blown down their escape with 
life seemed almost miraculous. At Berwick, the chapel in Golden 
Square was almost wholly unroofed, and the congregation were 
unable to meet in it on the following day. At Holy Island fully 
one half of the houses were unroofed, a sheet of lead on the church, 
weighing about three tons, was rolled up, and in consequence of 
the injury done to the building, no service was performed in it 
next day. At Sunderland, the entire roof of a house was blown 
off, and many similar occurrences took place in different parts of 
the country. 

1836 (January 26 ) An inquest was held at the New Inn, Hope- 
town, near Darlington, on view of the bodies of Jane, the wife, and 
Margaret and William, the two infant children of William Lister, 
the younger, white smith, of the above place, who on Monday 
afternoon were returning from Darlington, up the depot branch of 
the Stockton and Darlington railway, when four very heavily laden 
waggons were coming down ; the little girl slept from the footpath 
into the main line, and the mother with the other infant in her 
arms stretched out her hand to rescue her from danger, when the 
waggons, coming instantly upon them, knocked the mother down, 
and the whole three were run over and killed upon the spot. 

January 28. An awful explosion occurred in the celebrated 

etton colliery, near Houghton-le-Spring, by which twenty 
human beings lost their lives. Upwards of one hundred persons 
were employed in the pit at the time, but owing to the accident 
>emg confined to one of the workings the Downs pit the 
number was less than might have been expected, 

January 28. A very substantial bridge, of good workmanship, 


was finished across the river Wansbeck, at the Morpeth Grange 
Ford. This made the fourth bridge across that river, all within a 
mile and a half. 

1836 (January 29.J Died, at the advanced age of 91 years, 
William Scott, Baron Stowell, of Stowell Park, in the county of 
Gloucester, D.C.L., F.R.8., and F.S.A., Master of the Faculties, 
and a member of the Privy Council. Lord Stowell was born on 
the 17th of October, 1745, at Heworth, in the county of Durham. 
His mother was Jane, daughter of Henry Atkinson, hoastman, 
and his father, William Scott, a substantial coal-fitter and 
merchant, residing in Love-lane, Quayside, Newcastle. Owing to 
the rebellion that broke out in 1745, and the alarm then prevalent 
in Newcastle, whicli had been fortified against the Pretender, his 
mother, when in an advanced state of pregnancy, was lowered 
in a basket from the town wall, into a boat which lay in waiting 
to convey her to Heworth, on the southern shore of the Tyne. 
Here she Avas delivered of a boy and a girl, twins, William, 
afterwards Lord Stowell, and Barbara, who died young. William 
was educated at the Royal Grammar School, in Newcastle, but at 
the early age of sixteen he availed himself of his claim as a native 
of the county of Durham to a scholarship in Corpus Christi 
College, Oxford, and before attaining his seventeenth year he was 
entered as a student in the middle temple. In November, 1764, 
he took his bachelor's degree. In the following month, he was 
elected probationary fellow of Oxford College, and further, one 
of the greatest compliments that could have been paid to his 
learning, he was at the age of twenty, appointed college tutor. 
In 1767, he took his master's degree, and in 1772, May 30, he 
became B.C.L., having determined to follow the civil law as a 
profession. In the year 1774, he was elected Camden reader of 
ancient history, vacant by the death of Mr. Warneford, and never 
were the duties of the professorship so ably fulfilled since its first 
institution in 1662, His lectures are said to have been attended 
by the largest concourse of academics ever known, who were 
equally delighted with the classical eloquence of his style, the 
admirable arrangement of his subject, and the luminous informa- 
tion conveyed by him. In these particulars they successfully 
competed with the course of lectures delivered by the Vinerian 
professor, Blackstone, which they equalled in popularity. Of 
Scott's merits in this office both Dr. Parr and Gibbon have written 
in the highest terms of commendation. Until 1779 he remained 
at Oxford ; but in that year he took the degree of D.C.L., and 
enrolled himself a member of the College of Doctors at Law, 
practising in the Ecclesiastical and Admiralty Courts. Shortly 
after settling in the metropolis he became enrolled amongst the 
wits in an age that could boast of Dr. Johnson, Sir William Jones, 
and Sir Joshua Reynolds. With Johnson, indeed, and Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, he was soon on terms of sincere friendship, which 
continued till the day of their death. His lordship left a fortune 
of nearly 250,000., a sum which, though very large, could hardly 


be termed surprisingly so, considering the income he had enjoyed 
for so long a period, and his extremely prudent habits. He 
carried, indeed, his views on economy so far that he refused to 
make his son a sufficient allowance to enable him to marry, and 
the disappointment was said to have led Mr. Scott into intemperate 
habits, under which his constitution gave way, and he died about 
two months before his father. In one thing, however, Lord 
Stowell was exceedingly liberal his love of sights and many 
hundred pounds were expended by him in visiting every exhibition, 
however contemptible, which appeared in London. But in his 
court the eccentricities of his character were forgotten in the 
solidity of his judgments and the inimitable felicity of his language, 
and he has left behind him an imperishable name in the records of 
English civil law. There is a good portrait of Lord Stowell in the 
Guildhall, Newcastle. 

1836 (February 7.) A new chapel, belonging to the Methodist 
New Connexion, was opened at Sheriff-hill, near Gateshead, when 
the liberal sum of 18. 2s. Gd. was collected. 

February 12. Mr. Mark Scott, overman at Fawdon colliery, 
was blown down the shaft of that pit and killed on the spot. 

February 16. A dinner was given to a number of gentlemen, 
by Mr. Joseph Armstrong, brewer, in the mash tub of an extensive 
brewery which he had just completed in Hanover-square, New- 
castle. Sixteen gentlemen were conveniently accommodated in 
this singular dining-room. 

February 17. Newcastle and neighbourhood were visited by 
a tremendous hurricane from the N.N.E. accompanied by 
heavy showers of snow and sleet, there was also a vivid flash of 
lightning followed by a loud peal of thunder. The river Tyne 
rose to an extraordinary height, overflowing its banks in many 
places, and causing considerable alarm in Shields harbour by 
forcing several vessels from their moorings. At Sunderland, the 
wind being from the N,E. produced the highest tide ever remem- 
bered in that port by the oldest inhabitant. At Seaton Carew, 
the water flowed through the town like a river, and at Hartlepool, 
the sea rose seven feet above the highest tide mark recorded. At 
Middlesbro' immense damage was done, the pottery alone suffering 
to the amount of 1,000. A very great number of vessels were 
wrecked all along the coast. 

February 17. About six o'clock in the evening, a most 
alarming lire broke out at Warton farm, near Rothbury, occupied 
by Mr. Robt. Dickinson, by which seventeen corn stacks, the barn, 
and the thrashing machine were totally consumed. The devouring 
element spread with such awful rapidity that in less than half-an- 
hour, the whole presented one tremendous blaze. Mr. Dickinson 
had fortunately insured his property only a few weeks before. 

^ February 20. A barbarous murder was committed in the 
village of Lumley, in the county of Durham, on the person of 
Richard Taylor, a shoemaker, in the 76th year of his age. The 
deed was supposed to have been penetrated between seven an 

l.D. 1836.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 55 

eight o'clock in the evening. The body was found by two boys 
on the following morning. The head had been beaten till almost ilat, 
and the brains were scattered about the ground. The unfortunate 
old man, who was of an inoffensive disposition and much respected, 
was robbed of between ten and twenty shillings in silver. Two 
men were apprehended on suspicion, but were afterwards dis- 

1336 (February 21.) Died, in his 70th year, at Auckland Castle, 
the Right Rev. William Van Mildert, the last Count Palatine 
bishop of Durham. Dr. Van Mildert was the grandson of 
Abraham Van Mildert, of Amsterdam, who settled as a merchant 
in London, and resided in the parish of Great St. Helen's. His 
son Cornelius, who resided at Newington, Surrey, and died in 
1799, had by Martha, daughter of William Hill of Vauxhall, 
esq., three sons of whom the second and sole survivor was the 
bishop. His first curacy was at Sherburne, Oxfordshire, but in 
1812 he was appointed preacher in Lincoln's Inn, and in the 
following year Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford. In 1819, 
he was made bishop of Landaff, in 1820 dean of St. Paul's, and 
in 1826 bishop of Durham. His productions as a theological 
writer were numerous, and rank in the first order, his edition of 
the works of " Waterland " supplying a defect which had long 
existed in ecclesiastical literature. His charity was unbounded, 
every corner of his diocese bearing testimony to his liberality, but 
his munificent donations to the University of Durham were the 
most conspicuous evidences of his bounty, and notwithstanding his 
princely income his lordship died comparatively speaking a poor 
man. Provision for his amiable widow arose chiefly from her 
beneficial interest in a life policy to be realised by his lordship's 
demise. On the whole it is very difficult to speak justly of this 
eminent person without seeming to incur the charge of flattery. 
His understanding was vigorous and comprehensive, his learning 
accurate and deep, his apprehension quick, his temper highly 
sensitive, but generous, kind, and forgiving in the last degree. 
Perhaps no man ever lived who could dismiss an angry emotion 
more readily from his mind. To forgive injuries was the habit of 
his life ; to resent them he was never known. But, after all, the 
grand element of this fine character was a deep, habitual, and 
pervading sense of religion. This was the foundation-stone of the 
whole fabric ; on no other principle, indeed, could such a character 
have been formed. The labour of his life and the faculties of his 
mind were steadily directed to the maintenance and vindication of 
Christian truth. The remains of this excellent prelate were interred 
in a vault prepared in the nave of the cathedral church of Durham. 
Hitherto no Protestant bishop had been buried there. The funeral 
took place on the 1st of March. 

February 24. Berwick-upon-Tweed and neighbourhood were 
visited with a tremendous gale. The violent north-east wind 
impelled the waves so fearfully upon the shore that they were only 
prevented from inundating the streets by the strength of the 


ancient walls. In Chillinghara Park upwards of 1,300 trees were 
Mown down ; and a venerable tree which had stood 400 years in 
the church-yard at Alnwick, and was called the Broom Tree, was 
jilso destroyed. 

: (March 2.) At about eight o'clock at night the extensive 
pinning mill of Messrs. Clarke, Plummer, and Co., at the Ouse- 
burn, Newcastle, was discovered to be on fire. Seven fire engines 
were' speedily on the spot, and a plentiful supply of water being at 
hand, the flames were confined to that part of the mill where they 
had originated, but the machinery, models, &c., were much injured, 
and the total damage did not amount to less than 4,000. 

March 12. About this time an extraordinary mania began to 
devclope itself for the establishment of joint stock companies 
amongst commercial men and others who dabbled in shares. And 
on this day was issued the prospectus of the " Northumberland 
and Durham District Banking Company." The capital was 
proposed to be Imlf-a-million, in 50,000 shares of 10 each, 
upwards of 40,000 shares were subscribed for in less than a month. 
The eager anxiety to obtain shares in this undertaking was almost 
unparalleled, hundreds of respectable individuals being refused an 
allotment. The utmost amount of shares allowed to each 
applicant was 100, and one shilling per share to be paid on their 
receipt. A few days after the shares had been allotted speculation 
rose to a tremendous pitch, as high as five pounds premium being 
paid for a share, so that a person with only five pounds could 
convert it into five hundred. At a meeting held in Newcastle 
on the 12th of May, the company was declared established. On 
the 18th May the directors issued a notice that arrangements had 
been made with Messrs. J. Backhouse and Co., for the incorpora- 
tion of their Newcastle branch with the new establishment, and 
the bank was opened for business on the 1st June, under the 
management of Mr. Jonathan Richardson in the premises previously 
occupied by Backhouse & Co. See March 1839. 

March 16. The boiler of the engine at Cramlington colliery 
burst, and three persons lost their lives by the accident. A young 
man named John Dawson, who had charge of the engine, was one 
of the sufferers and the other two were boys on their way to school. 

March 18. As Robert and Philip Marshall, and Alexander 
Hall, of Hallington, in the parish of St. John Lee, Northum- 
berland, were digging for coals near Kirkheaton, they found a 
human skeleton in a deep hole under a large flat stone, the head 
had been put downwards, and the arms and legs had been bent 
upon the body. From the appearance of the remains they were 
supposed to have been those of a tall woman, and there was little 
doubt from the position in which they were found, and the nature 
of the place, that she had been murdered. 

March. This month, in clearing away the sand bank east 
of Morpeth Castle, the workmen dug up several cannon balls, 
of one and two pounds weight, which were supposed to have been 
fired during the siege of that place by Montrose, in the year 1644. 


1836 (April \). A spacious new chapel was opened for worship 
in Gateshead, for the use of the Methodist New Connexion. 

April 2. Mr. William Falla, nurseryman, of Gateshead, left 
his home, and was never afterwards seen alive. On the first of 
May his body was accidentally discovered in a very shocking 
state in Ravensworth Wood, near Ladypark farm. It was then 
found that the deceased had committed suicide by piercing his 
windpipe with a pen-knife, an instrument which he had closed and 
replaced in his pocket after committing the act. 

April 25. The bridge across the Tyne at Wylam was formally 
opened. It is of wood, supported by stone pillars, and was 
built by subscription. It affords great accommodation, being 
passable by both foot passengers and carriages, for which a small 
toll is charged. 

April 27. This morning, a coble belonging to "Whitburn, 
in the county of Durham, containing two men named Curry 
father and son and two men named Henderson brothers put 
off to sea, in order to procure some lobster boxes they had placed 
near the rock ends the previous evening. A heavy sea unfortu- 
nately struck the coble which immediately swamped, and the crew 
perished before help could be rendered. The men each left a 
widow, and in all sixteen children. 

May 1. The handsome and conveniently situated chapel 
belonging to the Methodist New Connexion, in Hood-street, 
Newcastle, was opened for divine service, when sermons were 
preached on that and the following day, during which was 
collected the sum of 166. 

May 2. The Newcastle new police force, under the superin- 
tendence of Mr. Stephens, went on duty for the first time, but 
they did not appear in uniform dress until the following week. 

May 7. This morning, the shipbuilding yard of Messrs. Adam- 
son, of Bishopvvearmouth Pans, was discovered to be on fire. 
The flames spread from the joiner's shed, where they originated, 
to a large stock of timber and to a ship that was building, the 
former was entirely and the latter partially consumed. As soon 
as the alarm was given, the populace ran in thousands to the 
place. A large malting occupied by Mr. Thomas Taylor, which 
adjoined the premises, and which contained upwards of 5,000 
bushels of malt was also totally destroyed. 

May 9. An alarming fire occurred at Ilartlepool, on the 
premises of Mr. Paddon, druggist, and a large amount of injury 
was done before the flames were subdued. 

May 15. That striking, and at all times interesting phenomenon 
a solar eclipse occurred, and Alnwick being the most favour- 
ably situated town in the kingdom for observing it, Lord Prudhoe, 
Sir James Smith, and other astronomers, were invited there for 
that purpose. The day was as fine as ever shone from the 
heavens, not a cloud was visible, and the progress of the eclipse 
could be most minutely traced. A temporary observatory was 




erected near Brislee Tower, and Lord Prudhoe provided a number 
of i, or the use of the public. 

(Ma;/ -21). A prospectus was issued of the "Newcastle 

,'rrial' Banking Company." The proposed capital was 

,<>00. in 50,000 shares of 10. each, but it was ultimately 

;..t .100,000., of which 75,000. were called up. The 

bank was opened in the beginning of August, on premises at the 

Bridge-end, and issued its own notes until 1840, when the Bank of 

England paper was substituted. In July, 1845, the capital was 

reduced to 50,000. by the repayment of 2. 10s. per share to the 

shareholders. See August, 1856. 

May 23. A prospectus of the " Newcastle Joint Stock Bank" 
appeared. The capital was fixed at 500,000. in 25. shares, 
but the latter were afterwards reduced to 10. per share, and a 
large number were never subscribed for. The bank commenced 
business in the Royal Arcade, on Saturday, July 2nd. See 
Janutmj 1846. 

'M(t>/ 23. A prospectus was issued of the " Durham County 
Coal Company," capital half -a- million, in 50. shares. The 
shares were speedily taken up, and the company soon after leased 
royalties at VVhitworth, Byers Green, Gordon, Evenwood, and 

Mi/ 24. A meeting was held between Mr. Grainger, and the 
proprietors of the Newcastle Theatre, at the Queen's Head Inn, 
at which a final arrangement was made for the removal of the old 
theatre, to be replaced by a magnificent new one in Grey-street. 

May 28. A prospectus was issued of the " Newcastle Joint 
Stock Brewery," capital 10,000, in 1,000 shares at 10. each, 
Same day, a prospectus appeared of the " Sunderlaml Joint Stock 
Bank," capital 200,000. in 20,000 shares at 10. each. See 
November, 1851. 

June 2. The skeleton of a man was discovered about three feet 
below the surface, in the immediate vicinity of Peter Allan's 
tavern, at Marsden Rock, near South Shields. The body 
appeared to have been interred with care, there being fiat smooth 
stones laid beneath the head. A pistol bullet was found in the 
chest, and a fragment about three inches in length of a sharp- 
pointed steel instrument, had pierced the vertebra of the neck, 
from which it_was evident that death had arisen from violence. 

June 10. The Kirkharle estates in Northumberland, which 
had been in the possession of the Loraine family for upwards of 
six hundred years, were sold by auction in London, for 57,000. 
The purchaser was Thomas Anderson, esq., of Benwell Tower, 
nephew of the late Major Anderson, of Newcastle. 

June 11. An advertisement was published for the purpose 
of obtaining subscriptions to a proposed magnificent suspension 

idge, with an approach from near St. Nicholas' church, New- 
- across the river, to West-street, Gateshead, thereby 
avoiding the steep and dangerous hills, Dean-street and the Bottle 


removed to form Gre/ S* part of Site now occupied by Mes^ElfenjpriC': 


West^ate S c Newcastle. 


1836 (June 11^. A. prospectus was issued "for converting the 
bank of Messrs. Chapman & Co., into a joint stock company, to be 
called the Newcastle, Shields, and Sunderland Union Joint Stock 
Bank. The capital was fixed at 300,000, in 30,000 shares. 
The shares having been quickly taken up, the company com- 
menced business on Friday, July 1, and arrangements were soon 
afterwards made for the purchase of the banking establishment 
of Sir W. Clay tor, bart, & Co., at Sunderland. 

June 18. An awful thunder storm occurred at Durham. 
The lightning was terrific, and the rain fell in torrents. One 
house in Church-street, near the New Inn, was struck by the 
electric fluid, and the bad which two men had just left was 
shivered to pieces. 

Jane 21. The Newcastle-upon-Tyne and North Shields 
Railway Act received the royal assent. 

June 24. The foundation stones of two new chapels, in 
the parish of Newburn, designed by Mr. Green, architect, 
Newcastle, were laid, one at Dalton, dedicated to the Trinity by 
Edward Collingwood, esq., of Dissington, and the other at Sugley 
Field, dedicated to the Saviour, by Charles Bulmer, esq., of 
Lemington. Silver coins of the reign of William IV., presented 
by Robert Boyd, esq., were placed in glass vessels, and sunk with 
the foundation stones, together with suitable inscriptions. 

June 24 The family of William Barnell, tallow chandler, Dur- 
ham, were disturbed by the cries of an infant, and on going to the 
room from, which the cries proceeded they found that the child had 
been severely bitten by a rat, which had knawed the flesh to the 
bone from one of the fingers as far as the wrist. It had also com- 
menced an attack on the neck, but was disturbed by the family. 

June 26. The last performance in the Theatre Royal, Mosley- 
street, Newcastle, took place before a crowded audience, when the 
comedy of " Sweethearts and wives" was performed, followed by 
a petite comedy entitled " Picturesque." The theatre was first 
opened on January 21, 1788, and Mr. Grainger commenced to 
pull it down on Saturday, November 5, 1830, when the principal 
portion of the site was thrown into Grey-street. 

June 28. That portion of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway 
between Hexham and Haydon Bridge was opened with great 
splendour. Two trains, one drawn by the Hercules locomotive, 
manufactured by Stephenson, and the second, consisting of six 
railway coaches and eleven trucks, drawn by the Samson engine, 
manufactured by Messrs. Hawthorn, left Blaydon about eleven 
o'clock with the directors and their friends, and the party arrived 
at Haydon Bridg.e a little before two. At various parts of the 
line flags were hoisted, and discharges of guns took place as the 
trains passed, and scarcely a spot on either side of the river which 
commanded a view of the procession was without its group of 
spectators, who by their acclamations testified the interest they 
took in the scene. The numerous company spent a delightful 
day without the slightest accident. 


183G (/ufyj. Notwithstanding the five new joint stock banks 
and other undertakings established in Newcastle, the following 
ulditional prospectuses were issued: The Tyne East India Com- 
pany, capital 100,000; the North of England Union Sawing 
Mill Company, 5,000. ; the Newcastle and Northumberland Coal 
Company, 300,000. ; the North of England Marine Insurance 
Company, 150,000.; the Tyne Marine Insurance Company, 
150,000. ; the Joint Stock Liberal Newspaper Company, 5,000. ; 
the Great North Koad Suspension Bridge Company, for uniting 
Newcastle and Gateshead at a high level, 125,000. ; the Grand 
Eastern Union Railway Company, from Newcastle to Durham, 
800,000. ; and other schemes. 

,//,/ 3. Newcastle and neighbourhood was visited by an 
awful storm of thunder and lightning, accompanied by rain. 
At Kirkwhelpington, the electric fluid struck a large ash tree, and 
shivered it from top to bottom, carrying the splinters, bark, &c., 
to a great distance. At Whitleys, near Blanchland, eighteen sheep 
were killed by the lightning. The storm also visited Alnwick and 
neighbourhood ; and Mr. Elliott of Shaukhall, near that place, had 
a valuable horse killed. 

July 8. Sir John Walsham, the assistant poor law com- 
missioner for the district, formed the Newcastle-upon-Tyne- Poor 
Law Union. 

July 11. As George Wilkinson, esq., of Durham, was driving 
his lady and Mrs. Wilkinson, senior, in the direction of Seaham, 
in a phaeton, he attempted to cross the Seaham railway, when 
a train of waggons was descending the inclined plane. The 
horse became restive, and would not proceed ; in consequence of 
which, the foremost waggon struck the phaeton, which, together 
with the inmates and horse, were hurried along at a fearful rate 
down the incline. A man, who was in the waggon, snatched Mrs. 
Geo. Wilkinson from her perilous situation, and placed her in 
safety beside himself. Mr. W. soon after fell from his seat, and 
the horse became disengaged from the vehicle, which was rapidly 
falling to pieces from the violence of the collision. Mrs. Wilkinson, 
senior, however, kept her seat, and gently rolled off at the bottom 
of the hill when the waggons had almost ceased to move ; after 
having been impetuously carried along somewhere about 180 yards. 
The carriage was broken into at least 50 pieces ; and, wonderful 
to relate, none of the party received any serious injury. 

July 15. Died, at Richmond, Surrey, in his 58th year, Sir 

Matthew White Ridley, of Blagdon and Heaton, in the county of 

Northumberland, bart., M-P. for Newcastle. He was born August 

8th, 1778 the eldest son of Matthew, the second baronet,by 

Sarah, daughter and sole heiress of Benjamin Colburne, of Bath, 

esq. He was educated at Oxford, and took his degree of B.A., 

ftarch 9, 1798. He was first elected member for Newcastle on his 

father s retirement at the general election of 1812. He sat during 

jhtt parliaments, and for the space of 24 years. At the two last 
ions he had to encounter a poll, but the result proved the high 


esteem in which he was held by his fellow townsmen. His 
principles were those of the old whigs ; and in his address at the 
last election he declared himself a sincere and practical reformer ; 
but in the extreme measures which characterised the later periods 
of his political career they inclined to conservatism. Sir Matthew 
married, August 13, 1803, Laura, youngest daughter of George 
Hawkins, esq., by whom he had six sons and six daughters, A 
portrait of Sir Matthew, painted by James Ramsay, esq., has been 
published, drawn on stone by W. Taylor. 

1836 (July 19;. The installation of the Right Rev. Dr. Maltby, 
who had been translated from the see of Chichester to that of 
Durham, took place in the cathedral of his diocese ; the Hon. 
and Rev. Dr. Wellesley acting as proxy for the bishop. His 
lordship visited the city of Durham on the 23rd of August, when 
he was presented with an address by the corporation, and was 
afterwards enthroned with the usual formalities. 

July 25. A vacancy in the representation of Newcastle in 
Parliament having been occasioned by the death of Sir Matthew 
White Ridley, the above day was appointed for the nomination of 
candidates, when John Hodgson, esq., of Elswick, was proposed 
and seconded by Archibald Reed and Dixon Dixon, esqrs. ; and 
Captain Blackett, of Wylam, by T. E. Headlam and John Spedding, 
esqrs. At the close of the poll on the 27th, the numbers were for 
Mr. Hodgson 1576, and for Captain Blackett 1528. 949 freemen 
voted for the successful candidate, and 468 for his opponent. 

July 29. Newcastle and its neighbourhood were visited by 
a tremendous storm of thunder, lightning, and rain. The rain 
during the afternoon, and indeed throughout the night, was so 
violent and continuous as to flood the Tyne and its tributary streams 
to such a height as had not been equalled for many years. Many 
sheep and other farming stock were carried away. A great 
quantity of hay was lost from the lowlands ; and several fields of 
potatoes and turnips completely destroyed. Mr. Hall, a farmer at 
Newburn, had a thirty acre field of hay entirely lost by a deposit 
of sand brought down by the flood. 

August 8. The Brandling Junction Railway was commenced 
at the Felling, near Gateshead. The first turf was cut in the 
presence of R. W. Brandling, esq., and a party of gentlemen, who 
had assembled to witness the first effort to forward this desirable 

August 10. The foundation-stone of the bridge across the Tyne 
at By well, was laid by T. W. Beaumont, esq. But the hilarity 
of the day was damped by an unfortunate accident. Orders had 
been given to blow up one of the piers of the old bridge, and while 
two men were in the act of charging a bore with gunpowder, a 
spark caught the powder, which blew up, and so dreadfully mangled 
one of the men that he died in a few minutes ; the other was 
also frightfully torn. 

August 11. The king granted his royal license to John 
Hodgson of Elswick House, M.P. for Newcastle, in compliance 


with the will of Elizabeth Arthur Hinde, of Ovingham, in the 
county of Northumberland, to assume the surname of Hind in 
addition to that of Hodgson. 

1836 (August 22). A boy named George Young, about 7 years 
of a-e, while sitting behind his trap door, down one of the Cowpen 
pits^a large stone, several tons weight, fell upon him from the 
roof and before he was got out life was extinct. 

September 13. A lady residing in Monkwearmouth, had, when 
a child about four years of age, two small pebbles put into her 
ears by an elder sister in play, which being pressed too far could 
not be extracted. The circumstance was attended with slight 
pain and swelling of the glands, and one of the stones, about seven 
years afterwards, was voided through the same aperture. Lately 
the lady experienced a slight pain in the ear, and t<> her astonish- 
ment, on this day the other stone appeared within the cavity of 
the ear and was with ease extracted after having remained in the 
head for upwards of 44 years. 

September '25. A hare, without being pursued, deliberately 
ran through the village of Burnopfteld, and sprang through a 
window of the constable's house, who exercised his authority in 
detaining poor puss, as well on account of her indiscretion as for 
the damage. 

September 25. The " Newcastle Courant" was reduced from 
7d. to 4Jd. 

September 30. One of the most wanton, cold blooded, and 
atrocious murders which perhaps has ever been recorded, was 
perpetrated upon a defenceless man named Lee, in the glass house 
belonging to Mr. Price, Pipewellgate, Gateshead. Lee lived in 
Gallowgate, Newcastle, and belonged to the Northumberland and 
Newcastle Volunteer Cavalry, and the occurrence took place during 
the performance of the usual eight days duty of that corps. On 
the evening of the above day the unfortunate man was intoxi- 
cated, and by some means or other had found his way into the 
glasshouse, where he fell asleep upon a large box. Here he was 
found by three young men, who were partially acquainted with 
him. After covering him with straw, they procured hot cinders 
from the furnace, and ignited it. At this moment Lee awoke, 
but almost immediately relapsed into deep slumber. It would 
appear that the first attempt to set fire to the unconscious man 
had failed ; they, however, seemed bent upon his destruction. 
More straw was collected, with hot cinders from the furnace, 
and tossed upon the helpless being. They then ran out, but 
suddenly returning were met by Lee himself enveloped in flames, 
and crying out " Fire." The poor fellow rushed along the street, 
and in his bewilderment and agony rushed back again to the 
glasshouse. By this time some of the neighbouring inhabitants 
had been drawn to the place by his cries, who ultimately extin- 
guished the flames, So awfully was he burnt that he expired in 
a few days, and was buried with military honours in St. 
Andrew's churchyard. At the ensuing assizes one of the perpe- 


trators was sentenced to ten years' transportation, and the two 
others to two years' imprisonment, a conclusion that gave general 

1836 (October 6). Messrs. Glynn's foundry at the Ouseburn, 
Newcastle, was discovered to be on fire. From the prompt 
assistance rendered by the fire engines belonging to Messrs. 
Crowther and Smith and the Broad and Crown Glass Company, 
the fire was got under. The roof of the office, part of the roof of 
the foundry, and the joiners' shop, were destroyed, together with 
a large number of models. 

October. Some time during this month, Mr. William Mather, 
a respectable builder of Newcastle, came into the possession of an 
immense fortune, amounting to between 200,000. and 300,000 
sterling. About twenty years previous, Alexander Adams, esq., 
who resided in Northumberland-street, Newcastle, bequeathed 
an immense fortune, amassed in commerce, to his natural son, 
resident in India. The fortunate devisee did not live long to 
enjoy his wealth, but died at Calcutta, a bachelor, leaving all he 
possessed to his cousin, Mr. Thomas Naters, who was settled near 
New York, in the United States of America. This last-named 
gentleman died some time this month, in Switzerland, leaving 
under his will those immense riches to Mr. Mather. The Swiss 
authorities, however, were loth to part with the money, and put in 
an enormous claim for legacy duty, amounting to 50,000. This 
produced an official remonstrance from the British Government, 
and it being shown that Mr. Katers was not a naturalised subject 
of the Swiss Government, the authorities moderated their demands, 
and the matter was ultimately settled by Mr. Mather suffering 
himself to be mulct of 12,000. 

October 8. William Sample, esq., agent to Sir Edward Blackett, 
bart., of Matfen, and his assistants, perambulated, on behalf of 
the lion, bart., the boundaries of the ancient and extensive manor 
of Willimoteswick, near Haltwhistle. Willi motes wick was the 
birthplace of Nicholas Ridley, the celebrated prelate and martyr. 

October. During this month the great west window of St. 
Nicholas' church, in Newcastle, which had been for a considerable 
time in course of restoration, was completed. The stone was 
partially renewed, and the window newly glazed with stained 
glass, the arms of the corporation, beautifully executed, occupying 
the centre, in compliment to that body for the very liberal manner 
in which they contributed towards its repair. 

October 29. A flock of wild geese, thirty-nine in number, 
passed close over the tops of the houses in Newcastle. 

October 31. As Thomas Knox, a pitman, employed at Little 
Houghton colliery, Northumberland, was hewing, he accidentally 
broke into an old working, and the water immediately rushed 
upon him, so as to prevent his escape. Knox's son, and others 
who were near the shaft, saved themselves, but were unable to 
render any assistance to Knox, whose body was not got out until 
November 30th. 


1830 (November 5> The body of John Hutchinson, Serjeant in 
tl ... Durham militia, was found in the river Tees, about four miles 
from Barnard Castle. He had been missing two days, and is 
supposed to have fallen into the river. On the day of Hutchinson's 
interment an awfully sudden death occurred in Barnard Castle. 
A youn" man named Carnell sent a boy to meet the funeral 
procession, and requested him to run forward and tell him when 
it reached the town. Before the boy returned, however, Carnell 
himself was a corpse. 

;\o>'(nnfar 6. The chapel at Horton, near South Shields, was 

opened for divine service, by the Rev. William Coward, 
incumbent of Westoe chapel. The building was erected entirely 
by subscription, and stands in a central situation between the 
parishes of Jarrow and Whitburn. 

November 9. The following gentlemen were elected mayors 
and sheriffs for 1836-7 : Newcastle Joseph Lamb, esq., mayor ; 
Anthony Nichol, esq., sheriff. Gateshead Michael Hall, esq., 
mayor. Sunderland Andrew White, esq., mayor. Durham T. 
Green well, esq., mayor. Stockton Christopher Lodge, esq., 
mayor. Morpeih Bobert Biakey. esq., mayor. Berwick John 
Miller Dickson, esq., mayor; William Riddell, esq., sheriff. 

November 9. The following were elected councillors for the 
borough of Newcastle : St Nicholas 1 Ward Mr. J. Nichol, 
confectioner, 152; Mr. William Gray, clothier, 152. All Saints' 
West Ward Mr. J. Carr, colourman, 133; Mr. Alexander 
Reed, china merchant, 115. All Saints Fast Ward Mr. J. 
Ridley, jun., broker, 180; Mr. R. Rayne, iron merchant, 164. 
St. Johns Ward Mr. William Storey, butcher, 206 ; Mr. George 
Bargate, Tanner, 161. St. Andrews North Ward Mr. J. 
Archbold, slater, 204 ; Mr. T. Dunn, 168. St. Andrews South 
Ward Mr. A. Nichol, broker, 94; Mr. J. Anderson, banker, 75. 
W<-.<t(i<.itt \Vind Mr. Isaac Aytoun, corn merchant, 109, Jesmond 
]j> /;Y /_Mr. William Armstrong, merchant, 96. 

November 10. Died, in East-street, South Shields, aged 71, 
Mr. John Winter. He was supposed to be the last survivor of 
the crew who sailed wiih Governor Philips to Botany Bay, iri 
1 789, when he was second officer in the boat which discovered 
Port Jackson, and was the first European who landed at Sydney 

November 10. The lord bishop of Durham visited Newcastle, 
for the purpose of presiding at a meeting of the Natural History 
Society. On his arrival in the great room of the Literary and 
Philosophical Society, an address from the corporation was 
presented to his lordship by the mayor (J. Lamb, esq.), congratu- 
lating him on his elevation to the see of Durham. 

Xoceiiiber 11. This day the bishop visited the Infirmary. His 
lordship was received in the Governors'-hall by all the medical 
officers, the Rev. the Vicar, the Rev, J. Collinson, the Rev. 
William Turner, Mr. Potter, Mr. Brumell, and Mr. P. G. Ellison, 
members of the house committee. After having inspected the 

A.D. 1836.] 



hospital, his lordship was pleased to express his warm approbation 
of the manner in which it was conducted. On the 13th November 
the annual sermon for the benefit of the 'Infirmary was preached 
at St. Nicholas' church, by the. bishop, to one of the most numerous 
congregations ever seen at that church, when his lordship delivered 
a most impressive and highly talented discourse. The collection 
amounted to 79. 7s., being a much larger sum than was ever 
collected on any similar occasion. 

1836 (November 11). The following gentlemen were elected 
councillors for the borough of Newcastle, to supply extraordinary 
vacancies caused by some being elected aldermen, disqualifications, 
and death: St. Nicholas' Ward Mr. W. A. Mitchell, 175; 
Mr. Thomas Eltriugham, 165. St. Andrew's North Ward Mr. 
T. W. Keenlyside, 175. St. Andrews' South Ward Mr. T. M. 
Greenhow, 125 ; Mr. F. Sanderson, 97. St. Johns' Ward Mr. 
Matthew Plues, 208; Mr. H. A. Mitchell, 163. All Saints 1 
West Ward Mr. J. T. Carr, 137. All Saints East Ward-Mr. 
Charles Rayne, 96. Jesmond Ward Mr. W. Richardson, 91. 

November 16. It was announced by advertisement that the 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne General Cemetery was ready for interments, 
and that a considerable number of catacombs under the chapel, 
and of vaults in both the consecrated and unconsecrated portions 
of the cemetery, were prepared for sale. A company was formed 
in January, 1834, to raise the suni of 6,900 by 345 shares of 
20 each, 90 of which shares were taken by the corporation as 
the price of the land, which consists of 1 5 acres, situate at a short 
distance beyond Carlton-terrace, between the New Road and 
Benton Lane. From the road there is a massive archway entrance 
betwixt the towers of two convenient chapels, built of beautifully 
veined freestone, after a chaste design by J. Dobson, esq., forming 
a very ornamental structure at this approach to the town. The 
cemetery is laid out and planted with great taste, and enclosed 
with a lofty wall. The first interment in this cemetery was that 
of Margaret Redford, daughter of Mr. George Hoy, formerly a 
grocer in Newcastle. 



1836 (November 16). The Rev. J. Frognall Dibdin, was enter- 
tained on his return from Scotland by several bibliographical 
friends at a dinner, in the room of the Antiquarian Society of New- 
castle, John Clayton, esq , in the chair. Their distinguished guest 
enlivened the company with his anecdotes and humorous sallies, 
and it is seldom that a more happy and joyous party ever met, 
and all departed much pleased with their guest and their 

November 19. A number of fishermen ot Hartlepool were 
placed in imminent danger, in consequence of a boisterous wind 
having suddenly arisen while they were engaged in their perilous 
employment. Twenty-six boats were at sea, each containing 
three men, and there seemed at one time little chance of any 
of them escaping destruction. The life boat was launched and 
manned by a gallant crew, proceeded to their assistance. One 
boat was swamped, and her crew, consisting of three brothers 
named Davidson, were observed from the shore struggling in the 
sea and clinging to their vessel. During this affecting scene the 
shrieks of the women, the cries of the children, and the mental 
agony of old Davidson, the father of the above named young 
men, and who had before lost two sons at sea, were most 
appalling. They were, however, happily picked up by some of 
the other fishermen, and landed in safety. The remainder of the 
fishing cobles also reached the' shore under convoy of the life boat 
without having lost a man. 

November 23. A meeting was convened in the Town Chamber, 
Gateshead, Alderman Pollock in the chair, when it was resolved 
to establish a mechanics' institute for the borough. The meeting, 
which was numerous and respectable, was addressed by Messrs. 
Rowntree, Brockett, William L. Harle, and others. Upwards 
of seventy individuals were immediately enrolled as members, and 
several valuable contributions in the shape of books, &c., and cash 
to a considerable amount. 

November 24. Married, in London, John Errington, esq.,. of 
High Warden, Northumberland, to Anne, daughter of V. Eyre, 
esq., of London. 

November 20. The " Newcastle Standard," a newspaper, 
edited by Mr. Charles Larkin, was published, but was discon- 
tinued April the 15th, 1837. 

November. This month, a singular discovery of a seam of 
coal was made in Berwick. While some alterations were being 
made in the yard behind Mr. Ralph Smith's house, in Bridge- 
street, the workmen dug up a quantity of coal, curiosity dictated 
a further search, and at the depth of about six feet from the 
surface they came upon a seam of coal, 3 feet 1 inch in thickness. 
The quality was put to the test, and pronounced to be excellent, 

December. This month, as a family of the name of Fawcus were 
removing from a village near Darlington, they observed a 
redbreast following them. On more closely noticing it, it was 
recognised as a bird which they had fed before they left the 


village. It continued its flight until it arrived at their place of 
destination, a distance of about 18 miles, and finally found its 
way into the house which the family were about to occupy. 

1836 (December 1). A meeting of the inhabitants of Sunderland 
was held at the Exchange Buildings in that town, the Hon. and 
Rev. G. V. Wellesley in the chair, for the purpose of promoting the 
erection of a memorial in honour of Rowland Burdon, esq., as the 
founder of the celebrated iron bridge at Sunderland. Resolutions 
were passed and a special committee appointed for the purpose of 
carrying them into effect. 

December 2. The inhabitants of Darlington were alarmed by a 
special messenger from Sadberge, about five miles distant from 
that town, announcing that the house of Mr. Christopher Rich- 
mond, of Sadberge, tanner, was on fire. When the firemen 
arrived an awful spectacle presented itself, the fire having made 
devastating progress. The flames continued to rage with great fury 
till about three o'clock in the morning, when they were subdued. 
The whole of the furniture, documents, &c., were destroyed. 
The family escaped with some difficulty. 

December 5. During a violent gale of wind a woman residing 
in Saltwellside, near Gateshead, was unfortunately killed by the 
fall of a chimney. The Joint Stock Banking Company's premises 
in the Royal Arcade, Newcastle, suffered in the glass domes by 
chimneys falling in. Part of a high wall in Percy-street was 
blown down, and the river for several hours was completely 
impassable. Several persons were thrown down in the streets and 
received serious injuries. A scullerman at Shields was driven 
out to sea and lost. 

December* Early in this month, a mural monument was 
erected in St. Nicholas' church, Newcastle, by order of Lord 
Eldon, in memory of his father, the late William Scott. The 
monument was designed and executed by Mr. Elger, sculptor, 
Park-lane, London. It is studiously plain but very neat, being 
surmounted with a beautifully executed vase, partially covered 
with drapery, and on the tablet is the following inscription : " In 
Memory of "Mr. William Scott, Freeman and Hoastman of this 
town, who was buried in All Saints' churchj November, 1776. 
He left to his family a rich inheritance in the example of a life of 
industry unremitting, of probity unsullied, and of piety most pure 
and sincere. This tablet is placed here by one of his affectionate 

December 14. The Gateshead Poor-law Union was formed. 
The union comprises the parishes and townships of Gateshead, 
Heworth, Winlaton, Whickham, Ryton, Woodside, Crawcrook, 
Stella, and Chopwell. 

December 16. A letter from America was received at 
Houghton-le-Spring directed <' Easington Lane, Hetton, Durham 
England," but without any name, and it happened that when the 
letter carrier was going his round, a woman named Margaret 
Crawford came to him and asked him if he had any letters from 
America, and it oddly enough proved to be from her son. 


1836 (December 17). Died, at Haltwhistle, Northumberland, aged 
82 years, Elizabeth Cuthbertson, a maiden lady. The deceased 
sprung from a very ancient family in Northumberland, was lady of 
an extensive manor about Haltwhistle, and possessed property 
worth 2,000 per annum. She was well educated, and brought 
up in every respect as a lady of good fortune ought to be. On 
the death of her only brother and sister, Miss Cuthbertson became 
exceedingly strange in her manners, and eccentric in her conduct. 
She chose for her abode the second storey of a miserable house in 
Haltwhistle, the door of which was nearly constantly locked, and 
many of the windows bricked up to keep out the gaze of inquisitive 
people. Towards her tenants she behaved in a very peculiar 
manner, it was said that some had not paid any rent for a great 
number of years, and others had paid a portion of the rent due, 
and both these descriptions of tenants she allowed to live upon 
their respective tenures, because they owed her money, but those 
who paid the whole of their rents she immediately discharged. 
During the last few years of her life she declined transacting any 
business in the most positive manner, and no inducements or 
persuasions could prevail upon her to abandon her system of non- 
interference with the world. 

December 17. The friends of Addison Langhorne Potter, esq., 
gave him a dinner at the Queen's Head, Pilgrim-street, Newcastle, 
as a compliment " for his active and valuable services in promoting 
on all occasions, to the utmost of his power, the Liberal interests 
of Newcastle." 165 gentlemen sat down to dinner. The chair 
was occupied by John Fife, esq., assisted by Emmerson Charnley, 
George Straker, and James Losh, esqrs., as vice-chairmen. 

December 23. A sharp frost set in, with a heavy fall of 
snow, and continued throughout that and the two following days 
with increasing severity, by which time a prodigious quantity had 
accumulated, exceeding, indeed, anything seen in the district since 
1823. There being a high wind from the north-east, the snow . 
drifted very much, consequently the roads to the north and south 
of Newcastle soon became impassable. The greatest obstructions 
in the north were between Felton and Alnwick, and from Bucton 
Burn to Berwick. The coaches which set out for the north on 
the 26th were all stopped, the Highflyer at Weldon-bridge, and 
the Chevy Chase near Ponteland. A passenger in the Chevy 
Chase furnished particulars of the journey, which reflect great 
credit on the activity and perseverance of the guard, John Barren, 
and the coachman, Jonathan Bowron. The coach left Newcastle 
at eight o'clock on Monday morning, and reached Edinburgh at 
ten o'clock on Thursday night. The snow in some parts of 
their route was twelve feet high, and it required three days to 
perform three stages. Notwithstanding these obstructions the 
guard and coachman persevered, and sometimes with four, some- 
times with six horses, by diverging occasionally into fields, and 
carrying the coach frequently over hedges and ditches, they 
contrived to reach their goal in the time mentioned. From the 





storm on land only one loss of life was recorded that of a poor 
man who was found dead in the neighbourhood of Stokesly. The 
list of casualties on the coasts of Northumberland and Durham 
included the loss of many valuable lives and much property. 

1836 (December). This year Lady Ravensworth caused to be 
erected at her own expense, at Lamesley, a neat, substantial, and 
commodious alrnshouse, containing eight apartments for the recep- 
tion of poor and aged females. Her ladyship also endowed the 
erection with the sum of 50 per annum. 

December* The quantity of coals shipped from the Tyne in the 
year 1836, London and coastwise alone, amounted to 754,961 
Newcastle chaldrons. Of the land and water sale of coals on the 
Tyne no public entry is made, but it has been ascertained that it 
approximates 200,000 Newcastle chaldrons annually. The over- 
sea sale is not here taken into account ; so that the Tyne vend of 
coals for the year may be safely put down at 770,000 Newcastle 
chaldrons of 53 cwt. each, or two millions forty thousand five 
hundred tons. Reduced to tons, the vend of the Wear for the 
same period is one million fifty-five thousand four hundred and 
thirteen, being rather more than half the enormous vend of the 

1837 (January*!). A human skeleton was found about eighteen 
inches below the surface of the north-east side of Sunderland 
moor, and from its appearance there could be little doubt but 
that it had been placed there after a violent death. 

January 3, A swan was shot upon the river at Blyth, 
weighing 22 Ibs., by Mr. John Hutton and Mr. James Tate, who 
fired together. 

January 3. The sale of the mansion-house furniture, pictures, 
plate, &c., commenced this day, pursuant to the decision of the 
corporate body on the 7th December, 1836. The proceeding 
met the approbation of some but was highly disapproved of by 
the mass, who very justly regarded the disposal of property left in 
trust for the use of the corporation for ever as an act indefensible, 
and the more so when it is remembered that the ultimate decision 
was arrived at by the trifling majority of four. The sale was but 
poorly attended, and realised only about 2,000. 

January. At a meeting of the town council of the borough of 
Gateshead, Mr. Price stated that a large number of lodging-houses 
in that town were filled by disreputable characters, driven from 
Newcastle by the vigilance of the police. Mr. Rowntree suggested 
that it would be better to say nothing about the matter, as it would 
serve as an invitation to such persons to seek lodgings there in 
greater numbers. Mr. Brockett replied that, having heard of as 
many as seventeen being found in one bed, it seemed as if the 
lodgings were already full. 

January 7. This day, the winning of the new colliery at 
Woodhouse Close, near Bishop Auckland, the property of Messrs. 
Flintoff, was successfully accomplished. The main coal seam was 
found in great perfection at a depth of seventy-four fathoms. 


1837 (January 10). In consequence of a very rapid thaw, 
accompanied vyith rain, the river Tyne became alarmingly swollen. 
At Scotswood it burst into two rows of houses, fourteen m 
number, and speedily rose to a height of five feet. The Wear 
was also extremely high, but beyond the partial submersion of 
many houses on the banks of both streams, the damage done was 
but trifling. 

January 12. An alarming fire broke out this morning in the 
patent rope manufactory of R. Webster, esq., at Deptford, near 
Sunderland. The alarm was given by a young woman, and five 
engines were soon brought to the spot ; but in consequence of the 
dense smoke and the excessive heat, it was some time before they 
could be put into operation. As soon as it was practicable the 
engines were put to work ; but, notwithstanding every effort, the 
whole of the extensive manufactory, with its machinery, &c., was 
burned to the ground. The loss was estimated at 60,000., about 
two-thirds of which was insured. 

January 12. The body of Mr. William Lawton, woollen 
manufacturer, Netherwitton, was found drowned on Morpeth 
High Stanners, a little above the chain bridge. It was supposed 
the deceased had been washed from his horse, on which he was 
returning from Rothbury, the river being very high at the time. 

January 13. This being the day appointed for laying the 
foundations of the two great bridges over the Ouseburn and 
Willington Dean, on the line of the Newcastle and North Shields 
Railway, John Hodgson Hinde, esq., M.P., vice-chairman, 
proceeded to Willington Dean, where he was met, at twelve o'clock, 
by a number of directors and shareholders, the engineer, architect, 
&c. The preliminary arrangements having been made, Mr. 
Hodgson Hinde shortly addressed those present, informing them, 
that he attended there that day as the deputy of Matthew Bell, 
esq., M.P., the chairman of the company, by whom it had been 
arranged that the foundation of that stupendous structure should 
have been laid, but who, he was sorry to say, was prevented by 
severe indisposition from attending. He then read the inscription 
on the brass plate to be deposited in the foundation. The inscrip- 
tion stated that the foundation-stone of that bridge was laid on the 
13th of January, 1837, by M. Bell, esq., M.P., and enumerated 
the names of the chairman, vice-chairman, and directors, of Mr. 
Green, the architect of the bridge, Mr. Nicholson, engineer to the 
railroad, Mr. John Straker, consulting engineer, and Mr. W. Swan, 
clerk. The plate, together with several coins of the present reign, 
was then placed between glass plates, and plaster being poured 
upon them, Mr. Hinde spread it around with a silver trowel. The 
stone was then placed on its bed, and the usual ceremonies being 
gone through, nine hearty cheers were then given, and the pro- 
ceedings terminated. The bridges are of great extent and of 
peculiar construction, the arches being formed of laminated timber. 
That over Willington Dean is 1,050 feet long, and 76 feet high in 
the centre, and consists of seven segmental timber arches, each 


120 feet span, supporting a wooden platform, with stone piers and 
abutments. The Ouseburn bridge is 800 feet long and 138 feet 
high, and has five similar arches of 116 feet span. The erections 
were finished in May, 1839, and had a very light and beautiful 

~L837(Ja?iua?*y'21). Died, at Leazes- crescent, aged 56, Mr. John 
Sykes, editor of the "Local Records" and several interesting 
tracts on subjects connected with the history of the district or 
illustrative of local events and character. For some time previous 
to his death Mr. Sykes was engaged in the compilation of a third 
volume of the " Local Records," and he had also prepared for the 
press a history of the printing business in Newcastle, interspersed 
with curious notices of the early printers and copies of the title 
pages of several scarce works. 

January 23. Died, at Denick, near Alnwick, aged 98, Mr. 
John Thew, farmer, the oldest freeman of the borough of 
Alnwick, and the last male descendant of a family which had held 
land under the house of Percy for upwards of four hundred years. 
Few have descended to the tomb who have held a higher character 
than this respected individual. 

January 31. Two pitmen belonging to Thornley colliery, 
Durham, named Storey and Surtees, engaged to hew coals against 
each other for five guineas aside. The wager was won by Storev, 
who hewed 33^ tubs, 20 pecks eack, and Surtees 30 tubs, the 
former being 10 tons 1 cwt., and the latter 9 tons. The amount 
of Storey's earnings would be Us. 2d. and that of Surtees 105. 
The time of working was eight hours, and from the extreme 
hardness of the seam the performance of each may be considered 

January. At this period there were residing at Shincliffe, 
near Durham, under one roof, five generations, viz., Margaret 
Wilson, 98 years old ; Ann Emmerson, 74, her daughter; Margaret 
Douglas, 43, granddaughter; Ann Leroy, 20, great granddaughter ; 
Sarah Jane Leroy, great great granddaughter, four months old. 

February 3. Died, at Morpeth, the Rev, Edward Otter, brother 
of the bishop of Chichester, rector of Bothal, and prebendary of 

February 4. The Vesta steamer, belonging to "the Newcastle 
Steam Navigation Company," was launched from Messrs. Hopper's 
shipbuilding-yard, North Shore, Newcastle, amid an immense 
multitude of spectators. It presented a beautiful spectacle. The 
vessel went into the river with such ease, so slowly and majestically, 
that the people on board were scarcely conscious of her motion. 

February. The manufacture of the largest rope on record, in 
one unspliced piece, was finished at the patent rope-works of Mr. 
J. Grimshaw, of Sunderland. It was upwards of 4000 yards in 
length, seven inches in circumference, and twelve tons weight, and 
cost about 400. It was for the use of the London and Birmingham 

February 6. As John Harris, esq., the engineer to the Stockton 



[A.D. 1837. 

and Darlington railway, was passing over the bridge which 
crosses the river Tees at Stockton, a furious beast driving to a 
slaughter-house came suddenly on to the bridge, and made an 
attack upon him. There seemed for the moment no way of escape 
for the unfortunate gentleman, but happily he had the presence of 
mind to throw himself over the parapet of the bridge, sustaining 
himself in this painful position by his hands until the beast, 
defeated in his attack, passed on. 

1837 (February 20). The new Theatre Royal, Newcastle, was 
opened for the first time by Mr. Montague Penley, with the 
" Merchant of Venice," and " The Young Widow," and was 
attended by a very crowded audience, the principal parts being 
taken by Messrs. R. Younge, Lacey, Leslie, Corrie, and Miss R. 
Penley. An opening address, written by Thomas Doubleday, 
esq., was delivered by Mr. Griffiths. 

March 1. That portion of the Newcastle and Carlisle 
railway, about 3| miles in length, extending from Blaydon to 
Redheugh, was opened by a procession and much rejoicing. 

March 6. The magistrates of Newcastle changed their place 
of business from the Mayors' Chamber, Guildhall, to the police 
office in the Manors. 



1837 (March 6) About three o'clock in the afternoon a fire broke 
out on the premises of Mr. Charlton, timber merchant, Stock- 
bridge, Newcastle. The police immediately repaired to the spot, 
and through their exertions the fire was speedily extinguished. 

March 24. As a hackney coach belonging to Thomas Spires 
was proceeding by Mosley-street to the Quayside, Newcastle, 
on arriving opposite the Newcastle bank the horses slipped and 
fell. Assistance being at hand they were soon released from the 
harness arid got up. The streets being exceedingly slippery the 
driver thought it unsafe to put the horses to the carriage again, 
and proposed to his passenger to send the animals forward while 
he and an assistant would guide the carriage down Dean-street. 
The gentleman having remained in the coach all the time, and 
assenting to the coachman's proposal, away the carriage proceeded 
down Mosley-street, the driver leading by the pole of the coach 
and the assistant holding on behind for the purpose of regulating 
the speed of the vehicle. On reaching the middle of Dean-street 
the coachman fell, and luckily the carriage passed over him within 
the wheels, and the assistant also having let go his hold, the car- 
riage rushed down the remainder of the street with inconceivable 
velocity to the dismay and astonishment of the sp ectators. At last it 
came in contact with the shop of Mr. Joshua Alder, cheesemonger, 
with a tremendous crash, breaking the whole window frame and 
sixteen panes of glass. Mr. Alder, who was sitting in his office 
at the time, and who was wounded in the face by the broken glass, 
had a narrow escape, the coach pole coming through the window 
within half a foot of his head. Mr. Fairless was the gentleman 
inside the coach, but he received no injury. 

March 29. A boy about three years of age, son of Mr. G. 
Taylor, Hartley Mill, was sent on an errand, and having to pass 
along the drawbridge over the cut at Seaton Sluice Harbour, in 
consequence of the darkness of the night he did not observe the 
bridge to be off, and walked over and fell not less than 45 feet. 
In his fall he came in contact with some part of a ship, by which 
he severely injured his right arm, and afterwards rebounded and 
fell into the water, in which he continued not less than twenty 
minutes before he could be extricated. 

April 3. Died, at Byker Bar, near Newcastle, aged 71 years, 
" Jackey" Johnson, well known in the neighbourhood as a professor 
of the occult sciences. He was struck dumb a few days before 
he died, with the cards in his hands, while in the act of divina- 
tion, and never spoke afterwards. Not being allowed by the 
authorities of the borough to exercise his mysterious calling within 
its precincts, he sought and found an asylum in the outskirts of 
the town, where his influence amongst a certain class was so 
astonishing that in cases of theft the mere visit of the owner to 
" Jackey, '' in many instances, caused the restoration of the property. 
His death was a severe loss to the votaries of Hymen, who were 
the most frequent consulters of his book of fate, whose oracular 
responses always promised matrimonial happiness, and were often 



their only source of hope to cheer the prospect of their future 

1837 (April 9). About noon a fire broke out m the Morpeth 
Steam Mill, occupied by Mr. William Scott, and the flames being 
assisted by a strong wind, the whole of the building was destroyed 
before it was got under. The mill was insured, but Mr. Scott 
sustained a serious loss. 

April 14. A poor widow, residing at Holywell colliery, 
Northumberland, bought a small fish of a hawker for a penny, and 
on opening it found half-a-sovereign in its stomach. 

April 18. The rope of the shaft at Monkwearmouth colliery, 
264 fathoms in length, suddenly broke near the top, and fell upon 
five boys at the bottom, killing three of them upon the spot. The 
names of the sufferers were Robert Gray, aged 15 ; Francis 
Burrell, 12 ; and George Gilroy, 10 years. 

April 21. Died, at the Vicarage-house, New Brentford, aged 
66, the Rev. Sir Robert Peat, D.D. The deceased was a native 
of the county of Durham, and a knight of the Order of St. 
Stanislaus, having had this distinction conferred upon him by the 
last King of Poland, for eminent services rendered to that monarch 
by a near relative. The deceased knight was also prior of the 
Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and chaplain to the Orange 
Lodge of England, and being an intimate friend of King George the 
IV., the living of Brentford was conferred upon him through the 
solicitation of his majesty. Sir Robert married the well-known 
Miss Smith, a lady of exceedingly eccentric character, but from a 
remarkable dissimilarity of dispositions they had not resided 
together for a long time. Sir Robert was highly distinguished for 
his accomplished manners and gentlemanly bearing, was an 
excellent scholar, and a warm and devoted friend. 

April 22. The five-quarter seam was sunk through at 
Crowtrees colliery, laying open about 1,600 acres of the West 
Hetton coal-field, belonging to Messrs. William Hedley and Sons. 
The seam was in great perfection. 

April 25. A melancholy accident, by which five workmen 
were instantly crushed to death, occurred near the high end of 
Gateshead. A scaffolding erected over the quarry of Mr. Joseph 
Price fell in with a tremendous crash, and upwards of 20 tons of 
stone lying on it at the time fell upon the men, killing them on 
the spot. Their names were Joseph Irwin, Matthew Welch, 
Thomas Baker, George Croyle, sen., and George Croyle, jun. 
(father and son). 

April. The Educational Society of Newcastle, Durham, and 
Northumberland was established. 

May 7. Died, at his seat, at Craster, Northumberland, in 
the 83rd year of his age, Shaftoe Craster, esq. He served the 
office of high sheriff of Northumberland in the year 1803, and was 
the last male descendant of one of the most ancient and opulent 
families in the county, the paternal domain of Craster having been 
held by William de Craster in the year 1292. But his revered 


character is more highly elevated by his transcendant deeds of 
benevolence than any ancestral dignity could bestow. His remains 
were deposited in the family vault, in the northern aisle of 
Embleton church, on the 30th of May. The long line of the 
funeral procession, extending nearly a mile in length, produced an 
impressive effect as it approached the village of Embleton, where 
apparently the whole population of the neighbourhood had 
assembled to join in the last hallowed rites dedicated to the 
venerable and venerated friend and benefactor of humanity. 

1837 (May 9). Died, at Alnwick, in his 73rd year, Sir David 
William Smith, bart., chief commissioner to the Duke of 
Northumberland for upwards of thirty years. His funeral took 
place at Alnwick on the 19th. The bells were tolled at intervals 
during the day, and the shops in the town were closed. The rank 
and character of the deceased drew together a great concourse of 
persons to honour the closing rites and witness the funeral 
procession, which surpassed in solemn grandeur any ever witnessed 
at Alnwick. 

May 11. Shortly before midnight the attention of a person 
passing down the Royal Arcadej Newcastle, was directed to an 
unusual light, a crackling noise, and a sulphurous smell issuing 
from the shop for fancy goods of Mr. S. Gans, known as the 
Fancy Fair. It suddenly burst into a blaze, and in less than two 
hours the whole of its contents were reduced to ashes. Mr. Gans 
was insured to the full amount of his loss, and shortly after left 
the town. 

May 15. Died, at Elemore Hall, Durham, in his 84th year, 
George Baker, esq. Mr. Baker was the only son and heir of 
George Baker, esq., of Elemore. He succeeded his father in 
1774. In his earlier years he was supposed to be one of the best 
gentlemen riders in England. About two months before his 
decease Mr. Baker announced his intention to present a piece of 
plate to be run for at the next Newcastle races. This prize 
assumed the shape of a silver coal waggon, and was not run for 
until June 25th, 1838, when it was won by Mr. Orde's celebrated 
mare Beeswing. Mr. Baker was a candidate for the representation 
of the city of Durham in the year 1813, when a severe and 
expensive contest, of nine days duration, took place between 
himself and the late George Allan, of Blackwell Grange, esq. The 
latter was elected by a majority of 80. The deceased had been 
for some time in a declining state of health, but was sufficiently 
well to receive his rents from his tenantry on the very day he 
breathed his last. Having deposited his money in a place of safety, 
he signified his wish to retire to rest, and when his servant was in 
the act of undressing him he fell back in his chair and expired 
without a groan. Mr. Baker devised the bulk of his large property 
to his grandson the eldest son of Colonel Towers, who married 
his only daughter who is directed to assume the name of Baker 
upon his attaining the age of twenty-one. 

May 19. As the keel belonging to Messrs. Cookson's bottle 


works was going down the Tyne, a large fish was discovered 
below Hebburn Quay, struggling on the shore. Mr. Strachan, 
the skipper, with other two young men, succeeded at last in 
rapturing the monster and killing it. The fish proved to be a 
r eel, which weighed 3st. 41b., and measured 6 feet 3 inches 


I s:J7 (M^'//29). The king's birthday the 72nd was celebrated 
in Newcastle by the usual demonstrations of loyalty and respect. 

j lllie 21. The intelligence of the death of his Majesty 
William the Fourth was received in Newcastle a little before 
seven a.m. The bells of the several churches commenced tolling, 
and continued to do so at intervals during Thursday. The flag 
on the castle, and those of the ships in the river, were hoisted 
half-mast high, and the shops were partially closed. At 
Sunderland, on Thursday, similar signs of grief were manifested 
for the demise of his majesty. 

June 23. Queen Alexandrina Victoria the First was pro- 
claimed in Newcastle. Pursuant to a summons from the mayor, 
the council met in the Council Chamber at 12 o'clock, from 
whence they adjourned to the Merchants' Court for the purpose of 
drinking her Majesty's health. The clergy of the town and the 
officers of the Garrison and Northumberland Yeomanry having 
here joined the company, the mayor requested the party to fill 
a bumper of champagne, and drink the health of Queen Victoria, 
and a long, happy, and prosperous reign to her majesty, which 
was drunk with great enthusiasm. The company then proceeded 
to the Sandhill, where the town marshal read the proclamation of 
her majesty as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Immediately 
after three times three cheers were given by the assemblage, the 
band at the same time playing the national air, the guns of the 
castle firing a royal salute, and the bells of the churches ringing, 
which together had a very imposing effect. 

Same day, Queen Victoria was proclaimed at Alnwick by 
the under-sheriff, accompanied by Charles W. Bigge, esq., 
chairman of the county, Robert Thorp esq., clerk of the peace, 
J. Clutterbuck, esq., Edward Dale, esq., W. Laws, esq., the 
Rev. L. 8. Orde, and other gentlemen. 

June 23. At Sunderland, Durham, Hexham, and South 
Shields, the same ceremonies were gone through, and all the 
corporations in this district presented loyal addresses to her 
majesty on her happy accession to the throne. 

June 24. Died, at Monkwearmouth, in the 90th year of 
her age, universally respected, Mrs. Barbara Wilson, relict of 
Mr. George Wilson. She was a lineal descendant of the ancient 
barons of Hylton, formerly of Hylton Castle, in the county of 

June 24. This day, the fourth centenary anniversary of the 
invention of printing was celebrated in Newcastle. 

June 28. The proclamation of her majesty took place at 
North Shields, accompanied by unparalleled demonstrations of 


the most enthusiastic loyalty, alike creditable to the constituted 
authorities, and to the inhabitants generally. 

1837 (June 30). This day, the number of christenings solemnized 
in St. John's church, Newcastle, amounted to the extraordinary 
number of forty-two. 

July 5 The passing of the Warkworth harbour bill was cele- 
brated at Warkworth on the evening of the above day, by illumina- 
tions and rejoicings. The town presented an animated appearance, 
being thronged to excess with people from the adjacent parts, all 
of whom seemed to participate in one joyous feeling. 

July 8. The occasion of the interment of the remains of his 
late majesty, was observed in Newcastle and all the neighbouring 
towns with all the respect and attachment which were due to the 
exalted qualities of the deceased monarch. 

July. After the short lapse of ten weeks, Jos. Smith, esq., 
and co., owners of South Tanfield colliery, reached the main 
coal scam, five feet 8 inches in thickness. The sinking work was 
under the superintendence of Joseph Smith and Joseph Joicey, 
esqrs., the two gentlemen by whose skill South Hetton pit was 
sunk to the astonishing depth of 180 fathoms, notwithstanding the 
difficulties and obstructions they had to encounter, in a time and 
at an expense unrivalled in this or any other mining district. 

July 12. Great interest was manifested by a numerous 
class of merchants, in Newcastle and the neighbouring towns, on 
the occasion of the first public sale of teas at that port, consisting 
of from 3,000 to 4,000 chests, the property of Mr. Alexander 
George Gray. 

July 12 to 16. The counties of Northumberland and Durham 
were visited with dreadful thunderstorms. These visitations 
were exceedingly capricious in violence and duration, but the most 
awful storms appear to have occurred in the district remote from 
Newcastle. On the 14th, at Shawdon Woodhouse, near Glantoii, 
Northumberland, Miss Donkin, niece of Mr. Carnaby, of that 
place, was struck dead by the electric fluid. It appears that Miss 
Donkin had gone into the kitchen, and unfortunately sat down 
below a bell ; just at that moment the electric fluid entered the 
house, ran along the bell wire, and struck the young lady down 
with great violence, killing two dogs that lay near. On the 
same day, at Ax well Park, 970 panes of glass were destroyed. At 
Ryton, a cow was killed, and at Stella, six sheep shared the same 
fate. Mr. James Summers, of Brasside Moor* near Durham, had 
a stack of oats burnt to ashes from the effects of lightning. At 
Newcastle, on the 1.6th, the storm was truly terrific. The 
electric explosions which took place directly over the town were 
the loudest ever remembered, and had the vibrating effect of 
shaking every dwelling, vivid flashes of forked lightning pursued 
their capricious course through the air, careering amidst the storm 
of hail and rain, and lighting up the otherwise gloomy scene with 
a sublime but awful grandeur. Three houses in High Swinburne- 
place, occupied by Mr. Beamont, Mr. Mackreth, and the Misses 


Wright were entered, the bells torn down, the wires fused and 
destroyed by intense combustion. Mr. Mackreth's servant was 
thrown down but not hurt. At Alnwick, several buildings 
received partial damage. The lightning passed down^the chimney 
of one house and set fire to a piece of paper in a boy's hand, and 
another child was thrown down, but they sustained no serious 

1837 (July 21). The James, of Perth, John McLaren master, 
lying at the Clarence Staiths, near Stockton, was discovered to be 
on fire. The vessel was not much damaged, but four of the crew 
were suffocated in the forecastle. 

j u ly 24. Died, at' his palace of Hereford, the Hon. and 
Right Rev. Dr. Edward Grey, Lord Bishop of Hereford, and 
fourth brother of Earl Grey, of Ho wick. His lordship was 
elevated to the bishopric of Hereford in 1832. 

July. In consequence of the death of his late majesty, King 
William the Fourth, a general election of members of Parliament 
took place this month. The following are the results of the 
various contests in Newcastle, Northumberland, and Durham : 


Plumpers, Splits. 

William Ord (Whig) 60 1792 

John Hodgson Hinde (Con.) 116 1701 

Charles J. Bigge, (Whig) 2 1187 

J. B. Coulson (Con) 2 1127 

A. H. Beaumont (Rad.) 69 290 

Total number who voted 3173 


George F. Young (Whig) 269 

Sir Charles E. Grey (Whig) 253 

Total number who voted 522 


Plunders. Splits. 

Richard Hodgson (Con) 2 357 

William Holmes (Con) 3 354 

Sir Rufane Donkin (Whig; 206 328 

Split Votes. 

Hodgson and Holmes 292 

Hodgson and Donkin 63 

Holmes and Donkin 59 

Total number who voted 625. 


Plumpers. Splits. 

Hedworth Lambton (Whig) 85 2358 

Hon. H. T. Liddell (Con.) 1727 2323 

Sir William Chaytor (Whig) 9 2062 

Split Votes. 

Lambton and Liddell 408 

Lambton and Chaytor , 1865 

Liddell and Chaytor 188 

Total number who polled 6282 



Plumpers. Splits. 

Hon. A. Trevor (Con.) 238 465 

William C. Harland (Whig) 105 373 

Thomas C. Granger (Whig) 162 371 

Split Votes. 

Trevor and Harland 143 

Trevor and Granger 84 

Harland and Granger 125 


Plumpers. Splits. 

William Thompson (Con.) 332 688 

Andrew White (Whig) 75 628 

David Barclay (Whig) 37 591 

Split Votes. 

Thompson and White 214 

Thompson and Barclay 151 

White and Barclay 367 

Total number who voted 1176 


Cuthbert Eippon (Whig) 23G 

John W. Williamson (Whig) 151 

Total number who voted 387 


Robert Ingham, esq., was again returned. 


Matthew Bell, esq., and Christopher Blackett, esq., were 
re-elected without opposition. 


August 1. John Bowes and Joseph Pease, esqrs., were again 

August 3. As John Marchant, servant to Mr. Potts, of Long 
Benton, Northumberland, was driving a cart through that village 
he was struck by lightning, and killed on the spot. The leading 
horse of the cart was also killed, the shaft horse not receiving the 
least injury. 

August 3. Mr. Thomas Mather, farmer, Elyhaugh, was 
drowned while endeavouring to cross the Svvarland Burn, near 
Felton, while it was much flooded. 

August 13. A fire was discovered in Messrs. Fell & Co.'s 
pottery, at St. Peter's, near Newcastle, The damage was estimated 
at between 500 and 600. The property was insured in the 
North British Fire Office. 

August 30. The St. John's chapel of ease, situated at Snod's 
Edge, in the parish of Shotley, was consecrated by the Bishop of 
Durham, who afterwards preached to a crowded congregation. 

Same day, a noble instance of self-devotion in the saving 
the life of a fellow creature was witnessed on the Quayside, New- 
castle. A boy named Walker, living in Silver-street, fell into the 
river, a keelman instantly plunged in and for a few seconds of 


intense interest, neither of them appeared. At length the keelman 
rose to the surface bearing with him the boy in a state of insensi- 
bility. He was taken home, however, and speedily recovered. 
The name of the humane and courageous man was William 

1837 (August). Early in this month, whilst some workmen were 

quarrying stone at Borcum Fell, near Bardon Mill, Northumberland, 
near to the Roman Station Vindolana, one of them found a copper 
vessel containing 63 coins, 3 of gold and the rest of silver. The 
gold coins were one of Claudius Cassar, reverse Nero Claudius 
Drusus Germanicus, one of Nero, and one of Vespasian. Of the silver 
coins 3 were of Galba, I of Otho, 1 of Nero, 15 of Vespasian, 8 
of Domitian, 1 of Nerva, 17 of Trojan, 4 of Hadrian, and 10 of 
various Empresses. The gold pieces were separately wrapped up 
in a greenish piece of leather or vellum, which was still quite 
toun-h, and many of the coins were as fresh as if just from the die. 
It was supposed that this treasure had been deposited about the 
year 120 the date of Hadrian's memorable expedition to Britain. 
The vessel in which they were contained was in the form of a 
basket, about six inches long. The Duke of Northumberland, as 
lord of the manor, claimed the coins. 

A gold coin of the Emperor Nero, of great beauty and in excel- 
lent preservation, was found about this time by a woman, while 
hoeing turnips in a field near Durham. 

September . The foundation-stone of a Wesleyan Methodist 
chapel was laid in Blenheim-street, Newcastle, by William 
Nesham, esq. The chapel was opened October 26, 1838, and will 
accommodate 1,000 persons, including 300 sittings for the poor. 

September 5, Died, at Bank Cottage, near Durham, in the 
99th year of his age, Count Joseph Boruwlaski, the celebrated 
Polish dwarf, a native of the province of Pokucia, in Polish 
Russia. This extraordinary person, though only thirty-six inches 
in height, was perfectly symmetrical in figure, and he enjoyed 
excellent health to a very late period in life. His lively genius 
and engaging manners caused him to be much noticed when he 
arrived in this country, and having been seen by some of the 
prebendaries of Durham, he was prevailed upon by that body to 
take up his abode in the above cottage, they engaging to allow 
him a handsome income, which he enjoyed up to his death. 

September 6. The foundation stone of the splendid Grey 
column in Grey-street, Newcastle, was laid by Messrs. John and 
Benjamin Green the architects. A glass bottle hermetrically 
sealed, containining a drawing of the building, surmounted with a 
statue of the noble earl, a list of subscribers to the undertaking, a 
collection of silver and copper coins of the Brunswick dynasty, 
with several local medals and tradesmen's tokens contributed by 
Mr. John Fenwick, and a parchment scroll, was deposited in a 
chamber cut in the stone, and encased in plaster of Paris. The 

scroll contained the following : 













Was laid on the Sixth day of September, one thousand ei^ht 

hundred and thirty- seven, 


The Rev. John Saville Ogle, of Kirkley, in the County of 
Northumberland, Clerk, A. M., Prebendary of Durham ; Edward 
Swinburne, of Capheaton, Esq. ; Thomas Emerson Headlara, of 
Newcastle- upon-Tyne, Esq., M. D. ; John Grey, of Dilston, 



Esq. ; Thomas Richard Batson, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Esq., 
and Alderman ; Armorer Donkin, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Esq., 
and Aldormmi ; Ralph Park Philipson, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
Esq., and Town Councillor; John Fenwick, of Newcastle-upon- 
Esq. ; James Hodgson, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Esq., and 
Alderman ; Emerson Chamley, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Esq., 
and Town Councillor." 

On the llth of August, 1838, the column had reached its eleva- 
tion, and on the 24th of the same month, the statue of Earl Grey 
Avas placed upon its summit. The bells of the churches immedi- 
ately afterwards commenced a merry peal, and continued at 
intervals during the remaining portion of the day. In the first 
week of November the scaffolding was removed, and the column 
exposed to the full gaze of the public. As a work of art, the 
figure is a noble effort of genius, and reflects the highest credit on 
its accomplished author, Mr. Bailey, whilst the resemblance it 
bears to the venerable nobleman to whom it is intended to do 
honour, is all that his most ardent admirers could wish. The 
height of the column to the top of the figure is 133 feet, and 
the diameter of the shaft at the base, is 9 feet 11 inches. The 
architecture is Roman doric, and there is a staircase consisting of 
IGi steps to the summit of the capital, from which there is a fine 
panoramic view of the town and the surrounding country. The 
figure was brought from London by the Newcastle trader 
" Halcyon." belonging to Edmund Graham, esq. Mr. James 
Purvis, master. 

Inscription cut on the column : 












IN THE YEAR 1839. 

. 1*37 (September 11.; While Mr. Ralph Wardle and Peter Smith, 
ot Colliery Row, were at work in the Aimwell Pit, Rainton 
Colliery, the roof of the mine fell upon them, and they were killed 
on the spot. 


September 11 The Free and Accepted Masons of Northum- 
berland held a Grand Provincial Lodge at the Turk's Head Inn, 
Grey-street, Newcastle, for the purpose of installing the Earl of 
Durham as Provincial Grand Master of the Lodge. After the 
election and the usual ceremonies 110 of the brethren sat down to 
a sumptuous dinner, at which his lordship presided. 

September 13. The foundation-stone of the bridge over the 
river Pont, at Netherwitton, was laid by R. Trevelyan, esq., in the 
presence of a large assemblage of spectators. The bridge was 
built by subscription, and is a handsome structure of two seginental 
arches of 23 feet span each, 

September 20. Died, in Newcastle, after a few days' illness, 
aged 78, Mr. John Rawling Wilson, for many years landing 
surveyor in the Customs at Newcastle, and a well known local 
antiquary. Mr. Wilson was a gentlemen of considerable literary 
and antiquarian research, and from his long residence and extensive 
knowledge of the town and neighbourhood, he was generally 
referred to in matters connected with its history and inhabitants. 

September 21. Thomas Holburn, 91 years of age, an inmate 
of Bedlington workhouse, and who had been completely blind for 
12 years, had his sight suddenly restored to him whilst at dinner. 
He at once resumed his round in the village, recognising his old 
acquaintances and haunts. 

October 1. Died, near Morpeth, aged 100, Mr. Robert Besford. 

October 4. At a meeting of the town council of Newcastle, 
the question of building a corn market was discussed. A com- 
pany had been formed some years before for the purpose of 
erecting a market on the site of the Middle-street, and ia July, 
1834, the corporation resolved to pay the company 9,000. on the 
completion of the building. Some delay having taken place, Mr. 
Grainger made an offer of a new and elegant structure as a free 
gift to the town, and it was contended that the resolution of 
1834, having never been perfected, was not binding upon the 
reformed corporation. The matter caused much excitement, 
models of the rival markets were exhibited, and memorials on 
behalf of both were very numerously signed. The discussion 
this day was on a motion of Mr. Charnley to confirm the minute 
of 1834, this resolution was ultimately carried by 32 votes against 
17. Mr. Grainger's building is now the Central Exchange News 

October 12. The elegant new church at Earsdon, near North 
Shields, was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Durham. The 
length of the church is about 79 feet, by 30 feet broad, is dedicated 
to ISt. Albans, and is of the early English character, from plans 
by Messrs. John and Benjamin Green, of Newcastle. The 
church being erected on an eminence, its tower has an imposing 
appearance for a considerable distance, both by sea and land. 
The cost was estimated to exceed 2,000. 

1837 (October 18.) A very rare and extraordinary operation was 
performed by Mr. Ward, surgeon, Church-street, Sunderland. 


A poor woman of the name of Hall, residing in Spring-garden 
Lane, was brought to the period of her accouchment, when 
from physical causes it was quite apparent the child could not 
be born 'in a natural way. To save the life of the woman was 
an object of intense anxiety, and this could only be done by 
the performance of the ceasarian operation. Mr. Ward, accom- 
panied by some professional friends, undertook the painful 
responsibility, and after a quick and dextrous operation pro- 
duced a female child, which had been dead for some days, but 
the life of the mother was fortunately preserved. 

1837 (October 19) At Manor Wallsend colliery, near South 
Shields, a melancholy catastrophe occurred. An old man named 
Conway and a young man named Thomson had some words, during 
which altercation the latter, in a moment of ungovernable irritation, 
took up a pick and struck it into Conway's body, with such fatal 
force and effect that he died upon the spot. 

October 31. One of those exhibitions which occasionally 
disgrace this kingdom, a prize fight, took place at Middleton 
Bridge, near Cambo, Northumberland. The combatants were a 
black, who called himself young Molyneux, and a man of the 
name of Renwick, who resided at Winlaton, near Newcastle. The 
black, who was visiting Newcastle on a " sparring tour," was 
challenged by his opponent to fight for 25 a-side. Owing to the 
interference of Thomas Anderson, esq., of Kirkharle, the fight did 
not commence until five o'clock. The contest lasted an hour and 
a half, and an idea may be formed of its severity from the fact 
that 87 rounds were fought with half a minute rest between each 
round. The black darkness having come on in the latter part 
of the fight butted his antagonist with his head. He won the 
battle, and the Winlaton man was left on the field nearly dead ; he 
was dreadfully punished. 

November 1. The new Monkwearmouth wet dock, on the 
north side of the Wear, was opened in due form, amid the firing 
of guns, ringing of bells, fireworks, &c. During the afternoon the 
brig lona, splendidly decorated, having a band of music and a 
large party of ladies and gentlemen on board, sailed down the 
river and entered the dock in gallant style, amid the loud huzzas 
of thousands of spectators. Two other new vessels also entered 
the dock. One was built by Mr. Johnson, of Hylton, the other by 
Mr. Laing, of Deptford. The dock and basin are nearly eight 
acres in extent, and were formed to accommodate about one 
hundred vessels. A ball took place in the evening at the New Inn. 

November 5. A man named John Atkinson, who had been 
in the employment of Mr. Sorsbie, corn merchant, in a fit of 
insanity threw himself out of a window at the foot of the Butcher- 
bank, Newcastle, from the height of more than fifty feet. The 
unhappy man, who was about sixty years of age, died within six 
hours afterwards. 

November 8. A fire broke out in the lower workshops of 
Mr, R. Small, turner, Groat Market, Newcastle, by which Mr. 


Small and an apprentice, named John Amory, were both severely 
burnt. Assistance being at hand, Mr. 'Small and the boy were 
both rescued. It appeared that the cause of the fire originated 
with the master and the boy, who were engaged in pouring spirits 
of wine from one bottle to another. 

November 9. The following gentlemen were elected mayors 
and sheriffs : Newcastle Thomas Emmerson Headlam, esq., 
M.D., mayor ; John Carr, esq., sheriff. Gateshead James 
Pollock, esq., mayor. Sunderland Richard Spoor, esq., mayor; 
Durham John Burrell, esq., mayor; Stockton Robert Lamb, 
esq., mayor ; Morpeth E. A. Hedley, esq., mayor ; Berwick 
George Johnston, esq., mayor; and John Clay, esq., sheriff. 

November 20. A very melancholy accident occurred at the 
works of Mr. John Renoldson, engineer, South Shields. A 
number of ladies and gentlemen had assembled to witness the 
trial of a new locomotive engine, when a defect occurred in the 
safety valve, which caused the boiling water to rush out with 
considerable force. The youngest daughter of Mr. Renoldson, 
about fifteen years of age, and a youtli named Messenger, were 
so much scalded as to cause their death shortly after, and one 
or two others were seriously injured. 

November 24. Died, at Scone Palace, Perthshire, after a 
few hours' illness, Louisa, Viscountess Stormont, third daughter 
of Cuthbert Ellison, esq., of Hebburn Hall, near Newcastle. 

December 6. A melancholy catastrophe occurred at Springwell 
Colliery, near Wrekenton, four miles from Newcastle, from an 
explosion of foul air. The cause of the accident was not dis- 
covered, as out of the fifteen men and ten boys not one was saved. 
A similar accident occurred in 1833, by which forty-seven 
human beings were deprived of life. 

December 9. A boy about five years of age, named Kirkup, 
slipped unperceived into Mr. Gallon's paper manufactory at 
the Felling Shore, near Gateshead, and climbed upon one of the 
wheels. The weight of the boy, it is supposed, set the machinery 
in motion, and he unfortunately had both his legs wrenched off. 

December 14. Considerable alarm was occasioned on the 
Quayside, Newcastle, in consequence of a loud report being heard 
and flames seen issuing from the office windows of Mr. Robert 
Procter, broker. It appeared that a young man in the service of 
Mr. Procter had been imprudently handling a flask containing 
gunpowder, when, by some means it exploded, blowing out the 
two front windows, and severely scorching the young man. The 
flames were promptly extinguished. 

December 18. The first marriage in a dissenting place of 
worship, in Newcastle, was celebrated in New Court Chapel, 
Westgate, by the Rev. George Sample. The parties were Mr. 
William Detchon and Miss Barbara Hurst. 

1837 (December 20^) Thiswas the gloomiest day ever remembered 
in Newcastle, the rain falling incessantly, and in the evening 
the wind blew very strong from the north-east, from which the 



shipping on the coast suffered seriously. The rivers, m con- 
sequence, were greatly flooded, particularly the Wear and the 
Brownie. At Sunderland Bridge, three miles south of Durham, 
the road was completely overflown, and all passage stopped for a 
considerable time. The mail got through with great difficulty, 
the horses being nearly carried away. The Wellington and Hero 
coaches were detained several hours, and the inside passengers 
were obliged to mount the outside for safety, the water reaching 
high in the inside. In Sunderland Harbour, the loss sustained by 
boats, keels, and timber, drifting out to sea, was estimated at 
upwards of 3,000. 

December 20. A boy named Edward Mennim, aged six and 
a half years, residing at Biddlestone Edge, in the parish of 
Alwinton, Northumberland, was sent on an errand to Biddlestone, 
a short distance from his home. Soon after his departure a dense 
fog came on, and the boy not returning at the time expected, his 
father and others went in search of him, which they continued 
until night without discovering the child. The distracted state of 
the parents, and the probable disastrous fate of the boy, called 
fortli the sympathy of the inhabitants of the district. The 
shepherds on the upland sheep farms, in the most praiseworthy 
manner, traversed the country in all directions and kept up a 
continued search for nearly twenty days, when on the 8th of 
January, 1838, they found the body of the poor little fellow among 
the moorland hills, at a place called Hockley Dean Law, in the 
parish of Alnham, the child having traversed a wild mountainous 
country (the southern range of the Cheviot Hills) in a north- 
easterly direction from his home. He was found lying upon his 
back with his arms firmly thrust into the pockets of his trousers, 
his eyes were partially open, and his face retained the freshness 
and bloom of life and health, indicating that he had, from the 
effect of cold and exhaustion, slept into death. Thomas Clennell, 
esq., of Harbottle Castle, whose feelings are at all times alive to 
distress, took an active part in the case of the lost child, as also the 
Rev. A. Proctor, vicar of Alwinton, the hon. Mr. Stourton, of 
Biddlestone Hall, and the Messrs. Grey. 

December 23. William Losh, esq., of Benton Hall, near 
Newcastle, received a patent for " improvements in decomposing 
muriate of soda (common salt), part of which improvements are 
also applicable to the condensing vapours of other processes." 

December, About this time a saline chalybeate well was 
discovered on the property of Jonathan Richardson, esq., near 
Shotley Bridge. The water having been analysed by an eminent 
chemist was found to be strongly impregnated with the sulphates 
of soda, magnesia, and lime, as well as with carbonic acid and 
oxide of iron. Mr. Richardson having erected an elegant bath 
house, and laid out the surrounding grounds with considerable 
taste, the place was for some time afterwards much frequented 
by invalids. Although the beauty of the rock and woodland 
scenery in the neighbourhood is confessedly great, it has never 


attained that popularity to which the valuable properties of the 
water entitle it. 

1838 (January 2). The first number of a conservative paper 
called the " Sunderland Beacon" was published in that town, Mr. 
John Kitchen, proprietor. 

January 6. Frost of an extreme intensity prevailed throughout 
the northern counties, and the first snow of the winter fell 
this day, the wind blowing keen from the north-east, the storm 
continued with great severity till the end of the month. All 
passage on the river Tyne was stopped, it being frozen for upwards 
of five miles below Newcastle, and crowds of skaters appeared 
upon it. In no year since the celebrated frost of 1814 
had one occurred like the present. In proof of this it may be 
mentioned that loaded carts crossed the Tyne, the Coquet, the 
Tweed, and other rivers in the north, upon the ice at various 

January 10. W. D. Anderson, esq., was appointed resident 
engineer to the corporation of Newcastle. There were 21 
applicants for the office. 

January 13. Died, at his house in Hamilton Place, London, 
in his 87th year, John Scott, earl of Eldon, high steward of the 
university of Oxford, a governor of the Charter House, and a 
member of the Privy Council, D.C.L., F.R.S., and F.S.A. The 
deceased was the youngest son of William Scott, a respectable 
coalfitter and merchant in Newcastle, and was born in his father's 
residence in Love Lane on the 4th of June, 1751, the anniversary 
of the birth of George the Third. John, like his brother William, 
was educated at the grammar school at Newcastle, but at an early 
age he quitted it for the university of Oxford. In 1767 he was 
elected a fellow of University College, and in 1771 he gained the 
chancellor's prize for an English Essay " On the Advantages and 
Disadvantages of Foreign Travel." Shortly after this he married. 
His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Aubone Surtees, esq., a banker 
at Newcastle. The match was a runaway one, and the lady was 
carried off from one of the upper windows of her father's house, 
on the Sandhill, Newcastle, yet unlike most matches impru- 
dently formed it was productive of the greatest connubial 
happiness during a period of many years. Lady Eldon was 
extremely beautiful, but the qualities of the heart surpassed even 
her personal attractions. She would sit up with her husband, 
cheering his midnight studies as a lawyer, watching him with 
silent affection, and moving about on tiptoe that she might not 
disturb the connection of his thoughts. She died in 1831. In 
1773 Scott was admitted a student of the Middle Temple, and 
never, perhaps, did student burn the midnight lamp with greater 
ardour or perseverance. Jn the diligence of his studies he must 
have equalled Sir Matthew Hale ; like him, ultimately success was 
his reward. In 1776 he was called to the bar, but for some time 
his success was so indifferent that he made up his mind to reside 
in Newcastle and practise as a provincial barrister, but a certain 


circumstance induced him to abandon his intention. In 1777 the 
notorious Stoney Bowes became a candidate for Newcastle, and 
Mr. Scott was employed in the proceedings which Mr. Bowes 
instituted for unseating his successful rival, Sir John Trevelyan. 
This was one of Mr. Scott's first retainers, and it was not his last 
from the same person, for Mr. Bowes was returned for Newcastle 
in 1 780, and again engaged Mr. Scott to defend his seat, which 
was attacked by Mr. Delaval. In 1781 Mr. Scott was offered the 
Recordership of Newcastle, but declined the offer. In less than 
two years he was invested with the silk gown, and was elected 
M.P. for Weobly, and though his powers as a debater were never 
effective, he soon obtained the notice and patronage of Mr. Pitt. 
In 1799 he was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Eldon 
of Eldon, Durham, and appointed Chief Justice of the Common 
Pleas. In 1801, in the formation of the Addington ministry, 
he was made Lord High Chancellor. This important office 
he held until 1806, when Erskine succeeded him under the 
administration of "All the Talents." On the 1st of April, 
1807, he was re-appointed, and from this time he continued 
in office until April 30, 1827, altogether a period of nearly twenty- 
five years. The abilities displayed by Lord Eldon in this eminent 
position it would be difficult adequately to describe. His judg- 
ments, which occupy thirty volumes, are valuable, principally to 
lawyers ; but in learning, accuracy, and research, it may be truly 
said he has never been surpassed, if he has ever been equalled. 
His decisions stand as bulwarks of the law, and the greatest 
lawyers subsequent to him have expressed their admiration of them. 
Like his elder brother, (Lord Stowell) though addicted to the 
pleasures of the table, he was parsimonious to a degree, and, as 
might be expected, he left an enormous fortune, far exceeding even 
that of Lord Stowell. The personal property alone was sworn 
under 700,000, and this was exclusive of very large landed 
estates. Lord Eldon, by his countess, had two sons and two 
daughters first, the honourable John Scott, who married 
Henrietta Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Matthew White Ridley, 
bart., and died in 1805, leaving one son, who succeeded his 
grandfather in the earldom. Second, Lady Elizabeth, married 
in 1817 to George S. Repton, esq., architect, by whom she had one 
son. Third, the honourable William Henry John Scott, barrister 
at law, who died in 1802, aged 38. Fourth, Lady F. Jane, 
married in 1820 to the Rev. Edward Bankes, rector of Corfe 
Castle, she survived her father but a few months. The present 
earl of Eldon married in 1831 the hon. Louisa Buncombe, 
youngest sister of the present, and daughter of the late Lord 

January 16. The Queen appointed the right hon. John George 
earl of Durham to be governor general of the British American 

January 28. An explosion took place in the shop of Mr. 
Stout, King-street, South Shields, which set fire to the premises 


and did considerable damage. It seems his apprentice was alone 
in the shop, and had by some accident set fire to a 51b. cannister 
of gunpowder. The boy was very much burnt. 

1838( 'February r llj. Died, at his residence in Sunniside,Bishop- 
wearinouth, the Rev. Robert Gray, A.M., rector of Sunderland, 
aged 48. He was nephew to the late Dr. Gray, Bishop of 
Bristol, and had held the rectory of Sunderland for 18 years. As 
a minister of the gospel he was talented and attractive, which 
qualities were only exceeded by his practical piety and ardent 
zeal, for the general inculcation of Christian knowledge. As a 
philanthropist he was unbounded in the promotion and support of 
public charities, and in private visitations and relief to the poor of 
all ages and sects. His last illness was produced by cold, and 
terminated in fever. His death was much lamented, and his 
memory will be long cherished in grateful remembrance bv all 
who knew him. His remains were committed to the tomb on the 
20th, amidst thousands of mourning spectators, the shops in the 
town were closed, and business was entirely suspended. 

February 20. An explosion took place at Whitley colliery, 
near Tynernouth, by which four individuals were dreadfully 
burnt, two of whom died the same day. 

February 23. A fire broke out in the stackyard of Mr. A. 
Young, Newton-by-the-Sea. The progress of the flames was so 
rapid as to destroy in a short time the whole stackyard, containing 
22 stacks of corn. 

February 24. The whole extent of the east coast of Durham 
and Northumberland was visited by a heavy fall of snow, with the 
accompaniment of a strong easterly wind, which caused the snow 
to drift in many places from ten to twelve feet deep. The 
Edinburgh mail was completely embedded about seven miles 
north of Alnwick, and had to be abandoned by the passengers, 
who made their way through the fields to North Charlton, and 
were detained there four days. The Otterburn and Wooler roads 
were closed for more than a week. Very great damage was also 
sustained by the shipping on the coast during the storm. The 
Benwell, trader between Newcastle and London, was lost, with a 
valuable cargo ; arid upwards of twenty vessels were driven on 
shore between Hartlepool and Berwick, many of the crews being 

February. This month a magnificent diamond ring was presented 
by the Emperor of Russia to John Thomas Carr, esq., his imperial 
majesty's vice-consul at the port of Newcastle. 

February- This month the owners of Radcliffe colliery, near 
\Vark worth, succeeded in boring to a seam of coal, between four 
and five feet in thickness, of excellent quality, about fifty-seven 
fathoms from the surface. 

March 21. A fire broke out this morning in the north end of 
the castle, at Durham. An alarm was immediately given, when 
it was ascertained that the fire was confined to the apartments of 
Mr. Alexander Watson, B.A., who had property consumed to the 



amount of 150., and had a very narrow escape for his life. The 
fire was accidental. 

1838 (March 28> Died, aged 74, Thomas Morton, esq., one 
of the most successful of modern dramatists. He was born in 
Durham, in 1 TG4, and is the author of " Town and Country/' 
"Columbus," "The Children in the Wood," " Zorinski," " The 
Way to Get Married," " A Cure for the Heart- Ache," " Speed 
the Plough," "The School of Reform," "A Roland for an Oliver,' 7 
and several other pieces of high reputation. Mr. Morton left 
three sons, one of whom is the author of several pieces, and 
another an artist of considerable merit. 

March 31. A boatman, named John Gordon, of the Duke 
of Wellington steamer, fell overboard at Newcastle Quay, when 
in the act of mooring that vessel, and was drowned. The 
same boat on her passage from Shields, not half an hour before, 
picked up the body of a man who had been drowned out of a 
wherry the same morning. Gordon, who left a wife and six 
children, aided in carrying the body of the wherryman to the 
dead-house, when he remarked on the uncertainty of life. 

March. The fishermen of Berwick not having been to sea 
in the beginning of this month, the fish, singular as the fact may 
seem, actually came on shore to them, glad to take shelter, it is 
supposed, from the fury of the storm. The shore, under and 
north of the Magdalen fields, was literally covered with cod-fish 
and haddocks, most of which were taken alive. 

April 1. On the morning of this day Sub-inspector Smellie, 
of the police, discovered a fire above the Hare and Hound public- 
house, Colvin's Chare, Quayside, Newcastle. On hastening 
upstairs he perceived that a bedstead and the flooring of the room 
were on fire, and two children lying asleep on the bed. With the 
assistance of police-constable Best he got the children safe out of 
the house, and afterwards succeeded in putting out the fire. 

April 14. Died, in Newgate-street, Newcastle, aged 62, 
Mr. Robert Nichol, much and deservedly respected. Mr. Nichol 
was the author of several compositions in prose and verse. Some 
of which were printed in the " Newcastle Magazine." 

April 24. Died, at Shillbottle Wood House, near Warkworth, 
Sarah, aged 89, and on the 25th, her husband, George 
Orde, aged 88. The remains of this venerable couple were 
interred in the same grave, in Shillbottle churchyard. 

May 5. Died, at his house in Ridley-place, Newcastle, 
aged 69, Nathaniel Winch, esq. Mr. Winch was well known in 
the scientific world as an excellent British botanist. He was the 
author of " An Essay on the Geographical Distribution of Plants 
through the Counties of Northumberland and Durham," and of a 
very elaborate "Flora of Northumberland and Durham. He 
bequeathed the whole of his extensive Herbarium and his library 
of natural history to the Linnean Society, of which he was a 
member, and left a legacy of 200 to the Newcastle infirmary, to 
ioh institution he acted as secretary for a period of twenty-ona 


. A new winning was commenced upon the Seaton 
Delaval estate by Joseph Lamb, esq., and company, which forms 
a new feature in the sinking of collieries. Ground was broken 
for six pits, exclusive of two engine shafts, all within the compass 
of COO yards. About the same date, E. R. Gr. Braddyll, esq., and 
partners broke ground at Morton, near Hetton, for two double 
shafts, or four pits within forty yards of each other. 

May 18. A fire broke out in a house in the Back Row, 
Stockton, which by prompt exertion was soon extinguished, but 
a young man named Robert Eden lost his life by suffocation before 
an entrance was effected. 

May 22, One of those disgusting and demoralising scenes, 
a prize fight, took place on Hedley Common, near the village of 
Ryton, in the county of Durham, between Robert Forbister, an 
engine wright, and John Brown, a whitesmith, both of Newcastle. 
They fought for 20, and their encounter ended in the death of 
Brown. Forbister was convicted at the Durham Assizes of the 
manslaughter, and was sentenced by Mr. Baron Alderson to four 
months' hard labour. Considerable excitement was caused in 
Newcastle by the Rev. W. Dodd, incumbent of St. Andrew's, 
refusing to allow Brown's body to be interred in the churchyard. 

May 30. Died, at his residence in Sunderland, Solomon 
Chapman, esq., aged 88 years. This worthy and exemplary 
individual, was a member of the Society of Friends, and a true 
and faithful representation of what the ancient gentlemen of 
that class of Christians were wont to be, and though firm and 
undeviating in his adherence to the usages of his sect, yet were 
his kindness and hospitality extended to all whom he esteemed 
without reference to their creed. 

June- Early in this month, as the Brunswick, of Sunderland, 
was on her passage from London to that port, the crew discovered 
that a youth, who was serving on board as an apprentice, was a 
female. The circumstance was made known to the captain, Mr. 
Hossack, who took her into the cabin and gave her up the use of 
his state room to render her situation as comfortable as possible. 

June 3 Died, in the Bethlehem Hospital, for lunatics, 
Jonathan Martin, the man who set fire to York Minster some 
years ago, lor which act he was tried and acquitted on the ground 
of insanity. He was brother of the eccentric William Martin, of 
Newcastle, " The Philosophical Conqueror of all Nations," and of 
John Martin, the celebrated painter. When he was first admitted 
into the hospital, he wus allowed the use of paper and pencil, but 
the governors finding that he invariably occupied his time in 
drawing sketches of York Minster, and that his doing so threw 
him into a state of great excitement, they prohibited his being 
supplied with those articles in future. His son Richard committed 
suicide on the following August. 

June 16. Mr. John Dickenson, of Eals, in the parish of 
Knaresdale, Northumberland, an eccentric character, the father of 
eight children, collected together thirty-two of his friends, to 


become sponsors for them. The party set out for the parish 
church, Dickerison, the father, playing several of his favourite 
airs on the violin, at the head of the merry group. They were 
met at church by the Rev. Thomas Bewsher, the rector, who, after 
putting the necessary questions, christened the eight children, the 
rev. gentleman observing, that, in all his ministry, he never before 
had had such a presentation. 

1838 (June 18). The Newcastle and Carlisle Railway was opened 
throughout its whole extent, from Redheugh, a little to the west 
of Gateshead, to the city of Carlisle. The vast number of ladies 
and gentlemen who had assembled for the purpose of travelling to 
the other end of the line, the countless spectators, and the numerous 
bands of music, made up a scene of great animation and gaiety. 
At half-past twelve o'clock the signal was given for the engines to 
start, when the Rapid was despatched as an advanced guard, 
without any train, and was followed by thirteen other engines, 
drawing 120 well-filled carriages. The aggregate number of 
passengers in all the trains was estimated at nearly 4,000, and the 
trains, when close together, above half a mile in length. The gay 
procession was received with great enthusiasm along the route, 
particularly at Corbridge, Hexham, and Haydon Bridge, and the 
whole party reached Carlisle between five and six o'clock The 
shades of night had set in before the trains commenced their 
homeward journey, and the first did not arrive at Redheugh until 
between two and three o'clock in the morning, and many of them 
at a much later hour. 

June 20. Died, at Axwell Park, in the 77th year of his age, 
Charles John Clavering, esq., senior magistrate of the county of 
Northumberland He held the office of high sheriff of Durham 
from 1829 to 1833, and of which county he was a zealous and 
upright magistrate. 

June 22. At a meeting held in the Guildhall, Newcastle, 
T. E. Headlam, esq., mayor, in the chair, to take into considera- 
tion what should be done in order properly to celebrate the 
coronation of the queen on the 28th of the same month. It was 
decided that instead of an illumination a subscription should be 
raised and applied to the erection of a building to be entitled the 
Royal Victoria Asylum for the Blind and Deaf and Dumb. The 
subscriptions soon after amounted to 1,000. 

_ June 27. Mr. James Wilkie, house surgeon to the Newcastle 
dispensary, in a. fit of temporary insanity, threw himself from 
the window in Miss Bell's boarding-house, Grey-street, in that 
town, and died shortly afterwards. The deceased was so highly 
respected that up ward's of 1,000 persons followed his body to the 

June 28. This being the day appointed for the coronation of 
her ra-ijasty, a general holiday was observed throughout the 
kingdom, and nowhere were the loyal feelings of the people more 
emphatically displayed than in Northumberland and Durham. In 
Newcastle, the churches and every public edifice were ornamented 


with flags, among which St. Nicholas' church was especially dis- 
tinguished, the steeple being decorated with flags, even to the very 
top. At one o'clock a royal salute was fired from the castle, and 
the yeomanry fired three volleys after which the mayor called upon 
all around him to join in drinking the health of Queen Victoria 
with all the honours, the troops at the same time presenting arms, 
the band playing the national anthem, and the immense crowd of 
spectators joining in loud and continued huzzas. The poor in the 
several workhouses were regaled with good dinners, and meat, 
bread, &c., were distributed among the out poor in the parishes of 
St. Nicholas, St. Andrew, and All Saints, the inmates of the 
corporation hospitals had each 5s. presented to them, and the 
prisoners in the goal Avere treated with a good dinner at the 
expense of the corporation. At Gateshead, Sunderland, North 
and South Shields, Hexham, Durham, Stockton, Darlington, 
Morpeth, Blyth, Alnwick, and indeed every town and village in 
the district the attention to the poor was most considerate, and 
unalloyed happiness everywhere prevailed. 

1838 (July 3). Married, at Alnwick, Edward John Clavering, 
esq., of Callaly Castle, to Jane, only daughter of John Carr, esq., 
of Bondgate Hall and Broxfield. 

July 5. A quarrel arose between two seamen, on board 
the Teviot trader, lying at Newcastle Quay, when one of them 
named Cunningham, struck his antagonist, whose name was 
Walton, a violent blow on the head, and the hatchway of the 
forecastle being open, Walton fell into the hold of the vessel. He 
was immediately conveyed to the Infirmary, where he died. 
Cunningham was convicted of manslaughter, and imprisoned 
three months. 

July 6. A violent thunderstorm passed over Hexham and 
the surrounding neighbourhood, in the course of which, a man 
and a boy belonging to Ovington, were struck by the lightning 
and the former was killed. 

July 11. The foundation-stone of a Jewish Synagogue, 
was laid in Temple-street, Westgate, Newcastle, by Mr. Harris, 
on which occasion the Rabbi, S. Hoffnung, delivered a sermon in 
the Hebrew language. The building is of stone with a polished 
ashlar front, and was opened for service on the 19th of September 
in the same year, 5,599, being New Year's Day, according to the 
Jewish calendar. 

July 16. The Supervisor of the Morpeth district and the 
officers of the Long Framlington preventive station, in their route 
across the Tossen hills, discovered an illicit distillery in full 
operation, very artfully contrived on the side of a great peat 
moss called Codley Moss. The officers only discovered one man 
(an irishman) in the place, who was committed to Morpeth Gaol 
for three months in default of the penalty of thirty pounds. 

July 18. A swarm of bees lighted on a man and a boy 
standing near the Pack Horse Inn, in Morpeth, during the market, 
their faces were completely covered. A hive having been pro- 



[A.D. 1838. 

cured and the queen bee placed in it, her subjects were gradually 
attracted from their curious resting place, and thus the parties 
escaped unhurt, much to the satisfaction of crowds who were 
anxiously waiting the result. 

1838 (July 25> Died, in Newcastle aged 100, Mrs. Elizabeth 

August 20. The eighth annual meeting of the British 
Association for the advancement of Science was held in Newcastle 
during the seven days extending from the twentieth to the twenty- 
sixth. For some months previous great and important preparations 
had been in progress in order to do honour to the distinguished 
body who had accepted the invitation previously given, and nothing 
was omitted which could in any way effect this desirable end. The 
large influx of strangers which was expected led the local com- 
mittee to make some enquiry respecting lodging houses for their 
accommodation ; but this resource being found inadequate, many 
gentlemen, including the mayor and other distinguished and 
respectable individuals, offered the use of beds, some of two and 
others of three, four, and even five. The applications for tickets 
of membership by residents in the district far exceeded tlie estimate 
originally formed, and they at last became so numerous that it was 
necessary to withhold any further issue, except the parties 
requiring tickets would become life members, or consented to 
receive gratuitously at least one stranger into their houses. The 
Duke of Northumberland, president of the Association, arrived in 
Newcastle with his duchess on the 18th, and took up his residence 
with R .Leadbitter, esq., in Westmoreland House, Westgate-street, 


A.D. 1838.] REMAllKABLE EVENTS. 95 

and his grace's arrival heralded that influx of distinguished visitors 
from all parts of Europe which continued up to the time of opening 
the proceedings. The various sectional meetings assembled each 
day at eleven in the forenoon, in the large rooms of the public 
institutions of the town, which had been fitted up expressly for the 
occasion. On the evening of the 22nd the Green Market was 
opened for promenade conversation and refreshment, and presented 
a most brilliant spectacle. On the 26th the concluding general 
meeting of the Association took place, ending a week of important 
scientific business, unparalleled of its kind. 1,391 tickets had been 
issued to resident members, and 895 to strangers, being an 
aggregate increase of 446 over the members at Liverpool in the 
previous year. The total receipts were 2,410 15s. The Marquis 
of Northampton moved a vote of thanks to the mayor and corpora- 
tion of Newcastle for the very hospitable reception the Association 
had met with in the town and neighbourhood, and after several 
other complimentary votes, the chairman announced the termination 
of the meeting, 

1838 (August 24). The Durham Junction Railway was opened. 
The railway procession, which set off from South Shields, con- 
sisted of two trains, capable of accommodating 400 persons, 
amongst which were many distinguished members of the British 
Association. The sun shone brilliantly, the South Shields band 
played the national air, cannons roared, flags waved in the breeze, 
thousands of voices sent forth a shout of joy, while the engines 
dragged off their respective trains to the magnificent Victoria 
Bridge, built at a cost of about 35,000, after designs and under 
the superintendence of T. Elliott Henderson, esq., the celebrated 
engineer. The bridge has four main arches, respectively of 160, 
144, and 100 feet span, having three smaller ones on each side, 
the length of the bridge being 270 yards, and its height from the 
bed of the river 157 feet. The bridge was designed from Tragans 
bridge at Alcantara, and occupied 716 working days in building. 
To view this sublime object the company descended to the valley, 
where the eye could take in the whole at one view. Indeed, a 
scene better calculated to give an elevated opinion of the triumph 
of genius over nature can scarcely be conceived. The company 
again took their seats and proceeded about six miles further on 
the railway, when 100 waggons of coals from Black Boy pit (the 
property of the marquis of Londonderry) were attached to a 
locomotive, and the whole procession then returned to Shields. 
All was pleasurable excitement until the Victoria Bridge was 
reached, when the engine of the second train ran into the carriages 
attached to the first, and some serious injuries were sustained by 
the passengers. At South Shields, a splendid cold collation was 
provided, Robert Ingham, esq., in the chair, after which success 
to the undertaking was drunk with much enthusiasm. 

August 24, Mr. Brown, the aeronaut, of Sheffield, made 
an ascent from the enclosure in Green-court, Newcastle, in his 
splendid balloon " The North Star." The gas was supplied from 


Clayton-street and Newgate-street. The process of inflation was 
completed soon after three o'clock, and the cords loosened which 
restrained its aerial flight. The balloon cleared the houses 
beautifully on rising and then proceeded in a south-easterly direc- 
tion, in full view of thousands of spectators who watched its 
progress with intense interest. 

1838 (August 26). As an appropriate sequel to the gaiety and 
splendour of the previous week, a magnificent entertainment was 
given at Ravensworth Castle, by Lord and Lady Ravensworth. to 
upwards of five hundred distinguished individuals, including all 
the nobility and gentry of the district, the learned foreigners, arid 
other eminent members of the British Association. The prepara- 
tions were on a most extensive and splendid scale, three spacious 
and elegant apartments having been fitted up expressly for the 
occasion, in which was exhibited every delicacy of the season, on 
massive and beautiful plate in princely profusion. 

August 28. The master and brethren of the Trinity -house, 
Newcastle, presented the freedom of that corporation in silver 
boxes to Captains Sir George Back and J. C. Ross, R.N., for their 
humane attention to the crews of the whaling ships frozen in the 
ice during the inclement season of 1837. 

September 1. An accident occurred at the Howdon Pans 
colliery, by the bursting in of a large quantity of water, by which 
three men and four horses lost their lives. 

September 2, The boiler of the steam- tug Vivid, belonging 
to a family named Greener, of North Shields, exploded in the 
Tyne, at that place, by which two young men, sons of the owner, 
were dreadfully scalded and died shortly after in great agony. 

September 2. Thomas Robson, jun., of Newbottle, whilst 
bathing near the village of Ryhope, got into a quicksand. His 
brother and a companion who witnessed the distressing scene, 
having in vain attempted to rescue him, applied to the inhabitants 
of the village for assistance, which however did not arrive before 
life was extinct. 

September 4. The first exhibition of the Sunderland Polytechnic 
Society was opened, and was visited during that and subsequent 
days by most of the leading families of the district. The 
exhibition embraced numerous works, by modern artists, archi- 
tects, and mechanics, of paintings in every branch of the art, 
models of monuments, bridges, churches, &c. ; and also of many 
excellent mechanical inventions. There were also in the exhibi- 
tion numerous specimens of stuffed animals, birds, shells, minerals, 
&c., of the most interesting description to the naturalist. In 
short, the exhibition of the Sunderland Polytechnic Society, 
differed from every other, inasmuch as it was an epitome of the 
best and most captivating, of every thing that could be brought 

September 4. Thomas Cowley. a pipemaker, of Gateshead, 
undertook, for a trifling wager, to leap from Newcastle bridge 
into the Tyne and was drowned. A more successful act of folly 
of the same kind was perpetrated in September, 1850. 



1838 (September 4). It having been determined to erect the Corn 
Market, on the ground occupied by the Middle-street, Newcastle, 
about July this year, the old houses were removed, and on the 
above day the foundation-stone was laid by the mayor, T. E. 
Headlam, esq , in the presence of the sheriff and most of the 
subscribers. The new building having been completed, it wag 
occupied by the farmers for the first time, on Saturday the 31st of 
August, 1839. The architects were Messrs. John and Benjamin 

Removed in order to erect the Corn Market and Town Hall Buildings. 

September 7. The Forfarshire steamer, of about 400 tons 
burden, under the command of John Humble, formerly master of 
the Neptune, of Newcastle, left Hull for Dundee on the 5th of 
September in a very unseaworthy state. On the 6th, when in. 
Berwick Bay, having encountered a heavy sea, she was forced to 
put back, the boilers shortly after becoming so defective that she 
was left to the mercy of the storm. An attempt was made to run 
the vessel between the Farn Islands, but she refused to answer her 
helm, and at three o'clock on Friday morning, the 7th, she struck 
with tremendous force against the Harkers Rock, about half a mile 
from the Longstone lighthouse, on the Farn Islands. A portion 
of the crew, intent only on self-preservation had lowered the 
larboard quarter boat and left the ship. Amongst them was the 
first mate, James Duncan, who has since published his own version 
of the affair, which was contradicted by the evidence of some of 
the witnesses on the inquest, and reflects small credit on himself as 
a seaman. The stroke of the vessel on the rock was regarded as 
the signal of death. The master lost all self-possession, and his 



wife, who was on hoard with him, sought in cries of anguish and 
despair the protection which, alas, he could not extend. The 
cries of females on deck mingled with the roaring of the ocean and 
the screams of the wild fowl, disturbed from their resting place, 
whilst the men clinging to the vessel awaited in silence their 
inevitable fate. Most of the cabin passengers were below, and 
many of them asleep in their berths. As soon as the vessel struck 
the steward ran down and gave an alarm, but one passenger only 7 
Mr. Kuthven Ritchie, of Ruthven Hill, Perthshire, was saved. 
On being awoke, he arose instantly, and siezing his trousers, 
rushed upon deck, from whence, observing the sailors leaping into 
the boat, he, with an extraordinary effort, by means of a rope, 
swung himself into it. and was thus miraculously preserved. The 
uncle and aunt of Mr. Ritchie made a desperate effort to get into- 
the boat, but in attempting to leap on board they fell into the sea 
and perished in his sight. The escape of the boat was remarkable. 
There was only one outlet by which it could escape being dashed 
by the breakers against the island, and that outlet was taken 
without the parties being aware of it. The vessel struck aft the 
paddle boxes, and not above three minutes after the few survivors 
had rushed on deck a second shock separated her into two parts, 
the stern quarter deck and cabin being instantly carried away, 
with all upon them, through a tremendous current called the Piper's 
Gut. The captain stuck to the wreck till washed overboard with 
his wife in his arms, and both were drowned. The situation of 
the few passengers who remained on the fore part of the vessel 
was perilous in the extreme. Placed on a small rock surrounded 
by the sea, which threatened to engulph them, they were clinging 
to life whilst all hope of relief was sinking within them, and crying 
for help, but the tempestuous billows drowned their feeble shrieks, 
and defied their puny efforts to escape. Their cries, however, were 
not unheard. Their shouts of distress fell upon the ear of Grace 
Horsley Darling, who, with her father, William Darling, occupied 
the outer Farn lighthouse. And now one of those heroic actions 
occurred which for their romantic daring are remembered for 
generations with admiration, and produced a burst of enthusiasm, 
throughout Europe for the humble girl who performed it. She 
awakened her parent, and no other help being nigh, those two- 
heroic persons proceeded, in a tempestuous sea to the spot. It is 
impossible to speak too highly of this unparalleled act of humanity, 
bravery, and disinterestedness. Danger presented itself in a 
thousand forms on every hand there the current running with 
fearful impetuosity, or the eddy whirling and engulphing all within 
its reach mountains of water bursting in wild confusion, or the 
tempest sweeping the spray from the billow as it rolled along. 
This perilous achievement, unexampled in the feats of female 
fortitude was witnessed by the survivors in silent wonder, and 
down the weather-beaten cheek of one old seaman stole the big 
round tear when he beheld from the wreck the noble, exertions of 
a young female, of slender appearance, buffeting the storm and 


perilling her life for their preservation. By a dangerous effort the 
father landed on the rock, and the frail boat was preserved from 
being dashed to pieces by being rowed to and fro among the awful 
abyss of water by the noble-minded girl. At length, at the risk 
of instant destruction, they succeeded in removing five of the crew 
and four passengers all that were left alive and the exhausted 
sufferers were safely carried to the lighthouse, where, for three 
days and three nights, their wants were administered to by the 
brave family to whom they owed their lives. The captain John 
Humble his wife, and about forty-eight others, perished with the 
vessel, and for some time afterwards the bodies of the sufferers, 
with portions of the wreck, were thrown upon different parts of 
the coast. The vessel and cargo were valued at 20,000. The 
heroic conduct of the Darlings excited universal admiration, and 
meetings on the subject were numerous ; subscriptions and presen- 
tations of monies and medals flo'wed from all quarters. The 
magnanimous girl, however, did not live long to enjoy the fruits 
of her heroism. She expired from consumption on October 20th, 
1842, aged 26 years, and was interred in Bamborough churchyard. 


September 10. An accident occurred this evening, in the 
shop of Messrs. Turnbull & Co., saddlers and ironmongers, in the 
Bigg-market, Newcastle. A little boy, son of one of the partners, 
was playing with an unloaded gun, when a spark from the flint 
fell into a drawer containing gunpowder and exploded, it blowing 
out the windows with tremendous force, and dashing every square 
to atoms. A boy in an office above was so alarmed that he 
jumped out of the window and broke his arm. 

September 12. Died, at Sweethope, in the parish of 
Thockrington, Northumberland, aged 101, Violet Ridley, a very 
eccentric character. 


1838 (Septemlcr 17). Died, at Castle Eden, in the county of 
Durham, Rowland Burdon, esq., in his 82d year. He was repre- 
sentative of that county in parliament from 1790 to 1806. To his 
genuine patriotism that magnificent structure, the Sunderlarid 
bridge, owes its existence. Mr. Burdon's share of the total cost 
(34,000) having been no less than 30,000. The bridge, then 
considered a marvel in mechanics, and which, even at this day, 
can never be beheld without surprise and admiration, was opened 
for traffic on August 9th, 1796. 

September 29. An explosion took place this morning on board 
the Charlotte, Captain John Asterman, when lying at Seaharn, 
owing to an accumulation of coal gas from the cargo. Six men 
werevery seriously burnt, and two of them died shortly after. 

September. One day this month, a remarkably fine colley 
do " followed the union coach from Cockburnspath to Newcastle. 
With the field running the animal was computed to have run not 
less than 130 miles. 

October II. The town and neighbourhood of Newcastle was 
visited by a gale of wind, which was attended with considerable 
destruction of property and loss of life. A large chimney in course 
of erection at the soda works of Messrs. Kidley and Co., Ouseburn, 
Newcastle, was blown down, and the materials falling upon a 
house unoccupied, buried the whole in a mass of ruins. At St. 
Peter's Quay, nine men in the employ of Mr. Wallace, builder, 
Newcastle, were engaged in covering a shed in Messrs. Shields 
and Co.'s factory, the wind caught the roof and tore it completely 
off, carrying with it two of the men, one named William Red- 
head died shortly after, and the other had an arm and a leg 
broken. At Willington, a large piece of timber was blown from 
the railway viaduct, and fell upon a blacksmith's shop, 100 feet 
below, passing through the roof and breaking the handle of a 
hammer with which the smith was working. Instead of expressing 
surprise, the eccentric occupant named Wardle coolly took up 
another hammer and struck the iron whilst it was hot. A great 
number of serious losses occurred at sea. The northern yacht 
steamer sailed from the Tyne for Edinburgh with ten passengers 
and a crew of thirteen, the gale which had blown during the 
whole of the day becoming more violent, one of the passengers, 
Mr, Reay, artist, North Shields, was put on shore at North 
Sunderland, after which the vessel proceeded through the Farn 
Islands, and was never more seen. On the 13th there was a 
heavy fall of snow, and as much of the harvest still remained in 
the fields, a portion of the crop was never gathered at all. 

October 14. A coble belonging to Shields, with five pilots, left 
Cullercoats, and on trying to make Shields harbour the boat upset 
and they were all drowned. The shrieks of the sufferers were 
heard by the sentries on duty at the battery, but they could not 
render any assistance. Their names were Martin and Peter 
Lawson (brothers), a father and son named Nevins, and a youth 
named Philips. 


1838 (October 23). Married, at Harrington Hall,*Robert Eden 
Buncombe, eldest son of R. E. D. Shaftoe, esq., of Whitworth 
Park, Durham, to Charlotte Rosa, daughter of the late Wm. 
Baring, esq., of Lulvvorth. 

November 8. Ralph Stanley, a pitman, belonging to Holywell 
colliery, died from the effects of a wound in the abdomen, inflicted 
during a quarrel with Joseph Purdie, a farm servant. It appeared 
that Purdie was returning from Morpeth fair, where he had pur- 
chased a sword stick. Several others of his friends were with 
him. When they arrived at the Astley Arms public house, near 
Cramlington, they were joined by the deceased, who had some ale 
with them. After leaving the Astley Arms a quarrel ensued, and 
Stanley wished to have possession of the stick. During the quarrel, 
Stanley received a wound in the abdomen, extending to the depth 
of six inches. He was observed to strike twice at Purdie before 
he fell. Verdict Manslaughter against Purdie, who was acquitted 
at the following assizes. 

November 9. The following gentlemen were elected mayors 
and sheriffs: Newcastle John Fife, esq., mayor; William 
Brownsword Proctor, esq., sheriff. Gateshead John Barras, 
esq,, mayor. Durham Thomas Greenwell, esq., mayor. Sunder- 
land Joseph Simpson, esq., mayor. Stockton Thomas Jennett, 
esq., mayor. Morpeth Thomas Jobling, esq., mayor. Berwick 
Robt. Marshall, esq., mayor ; John Wilson, esq., sheriff. 

November 9. Newcastle, and the North of England generally, 
commenced receiving benefit from the newly opened railways 
between London, Liverpool, and Manchester, by additional 
facilities being afforded in the transmission of letters per mail. 
The departures and arrivals being twice each day instead of once 
as heretofore. 

November 10. There were, at this period, 117 vessels building 
on the river Wear at Sunderland, the average tonnage of which 
it was calculated would equal 250 tons. 

November. Died, at Brompton, near London, aged 63, Mr. 
Charlton Nesbit, wood engraver. Mr. Nesbit was a native of 
Swalvvell, and one of the earliest pupils of the late celebrated 
Thomas Bewick. He was highly distinguished in his profession. 

November 11. Died, at Bishop wearmouth, aged 103, Mrs. 
Susannah Davis. 

November 24. Died, at his house, in Cumberland-row, 
Newcastle, aged 43, Mr. George Blythe Butler, for many years a 
favourite comedian on the Newcastle boards. 

November 24. The body of a woman, named Eleanor 
Brownlee, 103 years old, well known at Gateshead Fell and the 
surrounding districts, was found in Ravensworth woods, in a state 
of advanced decomposition. She had long travelled the country 
with a basket containing pots and nuts, and it was supposed she 
had died on the 10th inst., on which day she applied at a farmer's 
house in the neighbourhood for a lodging during a heavy rain, and 
was refused. 


1838 (December 7). About two o'clock this morning a fire was 
discovered in the waiting room of the Savings Bank, in the 
Arcade, Newcastle, but the fire-engines being promptly brought 
to the spot, the flames were subdued with but trifling damage. 
The police, on proceeding to examine the premises, were horror- 
struck to find the body of a man lying extended on the hearth ru^ 
in front of the fireplace. Lights having been procured, a sickening 
spectacle presented itself. On turning over the body, which was 
that of Joseph Millie, assistant clerk of the institution, the features 
were found to be knocked in, the left jaw and cheek bone were 
broken, and the skull bore no less than twenty distinct wounds, 
some of them several inches in length. There were three large 
gashes on the left temple, and the skull was literally smashed to a 
jelly. The hearth rug was saturated with blood, and blood, brains, 
and hair bespattered the wainscotting and walls. A poker con- 
siderably bent was lying beside him, and the pockets of the 
unfortunate man were stuffed with several pounds weight of coal 
and paper, apparently the more readily to destroy by fire all traces 
of the horrid deed. On the other side of the room was next 
discovered the body of Archibald Bolam, the actuary of the bank, 
who was reclining on one arm, apparently half insensible, with a 
plaid wrapped round him, and blood slowly trickling from a wound 
in his neck. Surgical aid having been procured, he was conveyed 
on a chair to the house of Mr. Glenton, Pilgrim-street, and shortly 
after he gave the following account of the shocking affair. He 
stated to Mr. Alderman Dunn and William Woods, esq., that he 
had lately received one or two anonymous letters, threatening 
bodily harm, at his dwelling at Gateshead, and that on Thursday 
evening one had been put under the bank door. In consequence 
of this he went over to Gateshead, leaving the bank unoccupied, 
Millie having gone to tea. When he returned, he found the door 
as he had left it, and on entering the room saw Millie lying on the 
hearth rug. This, he said, did riot surprise him, as Millie also had 
a key, and he imagined that he had laid himself down to sleep. 
He went towards his own desk, but while in the act of opening it 
he was struck, as with a fist, on the right temple, and turning 
round found the blow had been dealt by a man with his face 
blackened and otherwise disguised. He then rushed shouting to 
the window, when the man threatened him with the same fate as 
that of Millie. Continuing his outcry, the man knocked him 
down and he felt a cutting at his throat. He then became 
insensible, and on recovering he heard the footsteps of a man in 
the waiting room, but durst not make any outcry, and shortly 
after the smoke again deprived him of consciousness. The news 
of this extraordinary tragedy soon spread through the town, 
creating an unparalleled excitement, and long before the time of 
the inquest the Blue Posts, in Pilgrim-street, and all approaches 
thereto, were crowded to excess. At this examination,* Bolam, 
the eldest son of Millie, and others, were examined. Bolam's 
statement was but an amplification of that before elicited, but it 

A.D. 1838.] 



appearing so incredible he was confined in the gaol. On the 
succeeding morning (Saturday), the publication of the evidence 
produced a general approbation of the measures adopted by the 
coroner, and the current of suspicion set in strongly against the 
accused. The country people attending the markets thronged in 
great nnrnbers to the scene of the murder, and handbills were 
posted, offering a reward of 100 for the discovery of the 
perpetrator of the deed. Public opinion, too, was in full sway, 
and various rumours were afloat respecting the present and past 
life of Bolam. On Wednesday, December 12, the inquest was 
resumed and the examination of witnesses was continued on 


Thursday and Friday, when the jury at length returned a verdict 
of " Wilful murder against Archibald Bolam," the statements of 
his housekeeper, Mary Walker, had been so contradictory that 
she was given into custody, and afterwards examined privately 
by Alderman Batson, but no new facts were obtained, and she 
was in conseqence discharged. About a month after, however, 
she was again apprehended and committed to prison as an 
accessary after the fact, but was eventually liberated. The 
greatest excitement prevailed during the period of preparation for 
the trial. March at length arrived, and on the morning of the 
fourth, at half-past six, the prisoner was conveyed from the gaol 
to the Guildhall. Long before the hour of trial the populace had 




place in any part of the court was left unoccupied 
Mr fcL and Mr. Knowles, the prisoners waned, occupied 
fl e ri ht of the judge's seat, the prosecuting counsel placed 



themselves on the left. Close by were Mr. Swinburne, the 
solicitor for the prisoner, Mr. J. T. Hoyle, the solicitor for the 
crown, Sir Gregory Lewin, the public prosecutor, Dr. Lynch, the 
medical adviser, and other functionaries of import. Precisely as 
the clock of the court struck nine. Baron Parke, the presiding 
judge, took his seat, accompanied by his colleague Baron 


Alderson, with the mayor and sheriff of the town. In a few 
minutes the accused, dressed in a suit of black, was brought into 
court, attended by the officers of police. He slowly ascended the 
steps leading to the bar, where, shrunken, subdued, and alter- 
nated, he bowed low to the tribunals. The prisoner's counsel 
having applied for the postponement of the trial until the summer 
assizes, when the prisoner would have the benefit of a jury selected 
from distant parts of the county, and when the excitement would 
probably in some degree have subsided. After some discussion 
with the counsel for the prosecution (Sir G. Lewin, Mr. Wortley, 
and Mr. Granger), the postponement was granted, and Bolam 
having pleaded at the Moot Hall, was transferred to Morpeth 


goal. Precisely at a quarter- past nine on the morning of the 
30th of July, 1839, this extraordinary case come on for trial before 
Baron Maule, the counsel being the same as on the previous 
occasion. The prisoner was then placed at the bar, and bowing 
respectfully took up a position with both hands resting on the 
front of the dock. The evidence brought forward was purely 
circumstantial, but the points which bore most strongly against 
the prisoner were the trivial nature of the wounds and blows he had 
received compared with those of Millie, his pretended insensibility but 
real watchfulness and cunning when found in the premises, theincom- 
patability of his statements on the morning of the murder, 
with all the known facts of the case,the want of correspondence 



between some cuts on his coat with those on his waistcoat, and of 
both with several superficial scratches on his body winch he stated 
,a.l been made by the black man," the remarkable fact that no 
c ts were to be found in his plaid, though it covered his body 
when found, and had never, he said, been removed since he 
returned to the bank, the utter absence of blood upon the spot 
where he said he had been lying for several hours; the appearance 
of blood upon the sleeve of his C 9 at, and the clear evidence that it 
had been attempted to be removed by water, the prevarications ot 
Mary Walker as to the hour at which he visited his house on the 
evening previous to the murder, her admissions as to him sponging 
his sleeves, and many other points, in which his or her statements 
were contradicted by others. The whole of the evidence having 
been gone through, the court was adjourned until the following 
morning at nine o'clock, when the prisoner was again placed at the 
bar. Profound silence reigned in the spacious hall, while Mr. 
Dundas addressed the jury for the defence, in a speech of upwards 
of two hours and a half duration, in which the most forcible facts 
adduced by the prosecution, were attempted to be explained away. 
On the conclusion of the defence, the prisoner seemed much 
affected, and, indeed, the impassioned eloquence of the speaker had 
not failed to produce very material effect upon everyone in court. 
The judge then proceeded to sum up, and in a manner so highly 
favourable to the prisoner, as to excite considerable surprise amongst 
both the bar and the public. Indeed, his whole address was more 
like a speech for the prisoner than a review of the evidence. The 
jury then retired, and after an absence of three hours, brought in 
a verdict of manslaughter. On the following day he was brought 
up for judgment, and after a solemn asseveration by him of his 
perfect innocence, he was sentenced to transportation for life. 
The prisoner's only remark was " My Lord, I regard that sentence 
as my death." The trial created a greater sensation throughout 
the Kingdom than any case since that of Burke at Edinburgh. 
Bolam was shortly after removed to the hulks, and sailed for 
Australia on the 16th October, 1839. 

1838 (December 19). A serious explosion occurred this evening 
in Wallsend colliery, near Newcastle. The disaster fortunately 
occurred at a period when few workmen were in the mine, but the 
whole of them, eleven in number, perished. 

December. During this month, a person in the employment of 
Mr. Bedlington, brewer, of Ovingham, was driving his horse, 
which was a blind one, from that place to Wylam. The road is close 
to the river in some parts dangerously so and the horse and 
cart, by some accident, were overturned into the river down a 
steep bank, the stream running strong at the time. The man, 
however, perceiving his horse and cart right side up, began to pilot 
his blind companion out of his dangerous position ; this he accom- 
plished as he walked along the bank with the well-known " heck" 
and " gee," and, after guiding his steps for a quarter of a mile 
along the river, he had the gratification of landing him safely on 


shore, nothing the worse for his extraordinary adventure. It is 
remarkable that a little boy, who was riding in the cart at the time 
of the accident, and was found amongst the bushes on the bank, 
received no injury, beyond a few scratches. 

1839 (January 7). The North of P^ngland was visited by a 
tempest, which, as regarded resistless fury and appaling magnitude, 
had not been equalled in this part of the country, and which bore 
a closer resemblance to a west Indian tornado than the storms 
which, however fierce, visit the temperate regions of our globe. 
Soon after midnight, the wind shifted from S. to W.S.W., and 
gradually increased in fury until about six o'clock in the morning, 
when its violence was perfectly frightful. It is impossible to 
describe the sensation felt during this period. Impenetrable 
darkness veiled the face of nature, and when a sudden crash 
awoke the inmates of a dwelling, they knew not where to look for 
shelter amidst the ruin which surrounded them. At length morning 
dawned on a scene of devastation, such as few have witnessed. 
Bricks, slates, and tiles, in broken fragments, lay scattered over 
the streets in every direction, as if the town had stood a siege. 
No one ventured abroad that could possibly avoid it, and every 
thoroughfare was literally deserted. The injury done to public 
buildings in Newcastle was very great. The Infirmary had three 
stacks of chimneys blown down. The roof of the west wing was 
almost stripped, and twelve large trees in the garden were 
uprooted. At the Museum, a sheet of lead weighing nearly two 
tons Avas torn from the roof and carried for upwards of 100 yards. 
St. Thomas' Church had four pinnacles destroyed. Much appre- 
hension was at one time entertained for the safety of the beautiful 
steeple of St. Nicholas, but it withstood the tempest admirably. 
The balustrades of the Royal Arcade were completely destroyed, 
and the glass domes on the roof were more or less broken. The 
Grey Monument was observed to rock to and fro when the storm 
was at its height, but it suffered no injury. A tall chimney attached 
to the brew- house of Mr. Strachau, Ba.rras- bridge, betvveeen fifty 
and sixty feet in height, fell with a fearful crash upon the work- 
shops of Messrs. Burnup and Co., much to the consternation of 
the men, who however escaped. A tall chimney at Elswick Lead 
Works, another at Mr. Burt's Steam Mill, in Thornton-Street, and 
a third at Mr. Davidson's, Tobacco Manufactory, in the Side, 
were blown down. The bark mill of Mr. Beaumont, in Darn 
Crook, also received much injury, the wands of the mill being 
torn off with great violence, and after hovering a little time in 
the air, fell into St. Andrew's church-yard with a tremendous 
crash. A shed, upwards of three stories high, belonging to Mr. 
Arundel, skinner, Gallowgate, was completely demolished. A 
sheet of lead, weighing 18 cwt. 2 qrs. 14 lb., was torn from the 
top of Mr. Baird's house in Northumberland-street, passed a few- 
inches above the head of a person near the spot, and was driven, 
with such violence against the house of Mrs. Coward, on the 
opposite side of the street, that the glass frames and shutters of 



two windows were shivered to fragments. The inmates, who were 
in the parlour, perceiving the lead coming, rushed out and escaped 
unhurt. At Byker, owing to the high position of the village, the 
damage to property was very great, and a little girl was killed by 
the overturning of a waggon. The river presented an extraordi- 
nary spectacle, and it may be noticed as one of the most striking 
evidences of the violence of the wind, that at the proper time of 
high water, the tide had not risen more than six inches above 
low water mark. The Fox steamboat was blown from its 
moorings, driven against the bridge, and sunk. It is truly 
wonderfuly that in such a scene of devastation as the town 
presented, so few injuries should have been sustained by indi- 
viduals. A female, however, of the name of Hodgson had her 
arm broken in consequence of being driven by the wind against 
a wall, and a man na-ned Hugh Hutchinson was thrown down and 
rolled over and over like a ball for some distance. There were 
several other persons thrown down during the day in various parts 
of the town. In G-ateshead the storm raged with even more 
serious effects than in Newcastle. Nearly every house upon the 
Fell was unroofed or otherwise injured. The beautiful chimney 
of the Brandling Junction Railway Company, 115 feet in height, 
was blown down, and a man named Henry Hawks had one of his 
legs broken. A chimney at Messrs. Abbot and Co.'s, 75 feet 
high, fell with a fearful crash, and a man named John Errick was 
killed, while another person narrowly escaped. Scotswood bridge 
was impassable throughout the day, and a man who attempted to 
traverse it on his hands and knees was blown against the chains and 
had his arms broken. The destruction of trees in the country was 
prodigious. At Chopwell, upwards of 20,000 trees were uprooted. 
Capheaton, Blagdon, Woolsington, Fenham, and many other seats 
were extensively injured. The most distressing accident occurred at 
the house of Mr. Orange, stationer, Bedford-street, North Shields. 
Mrs. Orange and the servant were in the kitchen, and what is 
remarkable, almost an instant before the catastrophe, she inquired 
whether the servant remembered the wind that occasioned the fall 
of Mr. Spence's chimney three years ago, and before an answer 
could be given, a stack of chimneys fell upon the roof, carrying 
down the upper story and burying Mrs. Orange in the ruins. She was 
quite dead when got out ; the servant escaped. In Sunderland, 
the large chimney attached to Mr. Richardson's steam mill, was 
blown down, and two men named Robson and Moore (brothers-in- 
law), were killed on the spot, and a third had his leg broken. At 
Morpeth, the hurricane did considerable damage, unroofing many 
houses, blowing down chimneys, &c. The Royal Victoria Pavilion, 
belonging to u Billy Purvis," standing in Oldgate-street, was 
shivered to pieces, the scenery, dresses, &c., blowing about the 
streets in all directions. Upwards of 250 trees were uprooted in 
the park and grounds about Alnwick Castle, It is impossible to 
enumerate the whole of the disasters which occurred during this 
fearful hurricane, the foregoing being but a few of the more striking 


1839 (January 7). The storm had scarcely ceased to vent its 
fury on the town of Newcastle, when a fire broke out in the 
shop of Mr.Cowper, grocer, Grainger-street, which completely 
destroyed the stock and fixtures, but the property was saved by 
exertions of the the firemen. 

January 7. Married, in London, Rowland Errington, esq., of 
Sandhoe, Northumberland, second son of Sir T. Massey Stanley, 
bart.. to Julia, eldest daughter of General Sir John MacDonald. 

January 7. Died, at his residence, Old Brathey, Windermere, 
aged 70, Thos. Stamp, esq,, post captain in her majesty's royal 
navy. Captain Stamp was a native of Sunderland, a gallant 
officer, and conspicuous in most of the engagements during the late 
war. Whilst on a cruise in the Mediterranean he had a tame lion 
on board, which used to follow him in his walks on the quarter 
deck like a lap dog, without any apprehension of danger by the 

January 15. An alarming fire took place at the Wear Glass 
Works, Sunderland, Messrs. Hartley's manufactory, which 
destroyed one of the pot rooms and large packing room, and con- 
sumed about 2,000 worth of property in glass and pots. 

January 15. That portion of the Brandling Junction Railway, 
extending from Redheugh to the depot at the east end of Hillgate, 
Gateshead, was opened amidst a great concourse of spectators. 

February 15. An explosion of gunpowder took place in the 
ancient Keep of the Castle, of Newcastle. It appeared that the 
occupier, Mr. Shipley, had been casting bullets for an acquaintance, 
when some powder became ignited and exploded with considerable 
violence, knocking down the partition wall and setting fire to a 
number of muskets belonging to the yeomanry corps, and other 
things in the apartment. By the assistance of the police, the fire 
was got under without much damage. Mr. Shipley escaped 
comparatively unhurt. 

March 4. On Monday night, about half-past eleven o'clock, 
a dreadful alarm of fire was created in the neighbourhood of 
East Percy-street, North Shields. A lady was retiring to rest, 
when she saw the flames ascending, and supposing it to proceed 
from a garden-house, the property of Mr. Robinson, brewer, she 
sent her servant out who awoke several of the neighbours, and 
amongst them some of Mr. Robinson's men, when it was dis- 
covered that a stack of hay, the property of Messrs. Pow and 
Falcus, was on fire, which burnt with unabated fury until it was 
consumed. The fire was supposed to be the work of an incendiary. 

March 19. A dreadful accident occurred on the Clarence 
Railway. The passenger train from Crowtrees to Stockton, had 
reached the curve on Mainsforth Carrs, near Bishop Middleham, 
when the engine was thrown off the line, and precipitated over 
the embankment. The passengers escaped uninjured, but the 
engineman, fireman, and guard were killed by the engine rolling 
upon them. Assistance had to be obtained to dig the sufferers 
out from beneath the ponderous machine, when their bodies were 


found so horribly mutilated as to render it a task of considerable 
diiliculty to remove them. 

1839 (March 20). This day the banking house of Sir Matthew- 
White Ridley, bart., and Co., was incorporated with the North- 
umberland and Durham District Banking Company. The 
Newcastle bank was the second provincial bank established in 
England, having followed that of Pease, Liddell, and Co., of 
Hull, and had been established eighty-four years. Few institutions 
of the kind had obtained a higher degree of public favour and 
confidence. The senior partner, Sir Matthew White Ridley, bart., 
having retired, the other members of the firm, Mr. C. W. Bigge, 
Mr. W. Boyd, Mr. C. J. Bigge, Mr. R. Boyd, and Mr. Spedding, 
became large proprietors in the united establishment. The notes 
of the old bank were withdrawn, and the circulation became 
exclusively that of the bank of England.* 

March "22. One of the boats belonging to the Grenville 
Bay whaler, of Newcastle, was manned under the direction of 
Captain Taylor, and proceeded to the Narrows, at the mouth of 
the Tyne, to make experiments with some guns which were con- 
structed by Mr. William Greener, of Newcastle, for the purpose 
of harpooning whales. The result of the experiment showed that 
a harpoon of 12 Ibs. weight can be propelled to a distance of 40 
yards with certainty, having a f inch rope attached, consequently 
a fish may be thus secured when it would be impossible to strike 
it with the hand. 

April 8. Died, in the Circus-lane, Forth, Newcastle, Serjeant 
William Fraser, who had served 23 years in 6th Dragoon Guards, 
and 20 years in the Newcastle and Northumberland Volunteer 
Cavalry. He was interred with military honours in the burial 
ground of St. Andrew's church. The deceased claimed to be heir 
male of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, beheaded in the Scotch 
rebellion. Had his claim been taken up in time and by influential 
parties, it is possible that the title might have been obtained for 

April 10. As the train on the Newcastle and Carlisle 
Railway was passing Hallowell Dean, near Hexham, a cinder 
from the chimney of the engine fell on a thatched cattle shed 
belonging to Mr. Bell, of that place, and although immediate 
assistance was given, the shed was completely destroyed. 

April 19. The first number of the " Port of Tyne Pilot" 
newspaper was published at No. 7, Dean-street, South Shields. 
It was discontinued on December 30, 1842. 

April 20. Two stacks of hay and one of straw, belonging 
to the Rev. Robert Goodenough, vicar of Whittingharn, were 
destroyed by fire, and there was every reason to believe that it 
was the act of an incendiary. 

April 22. An explosion of fire damp took place at Whitley 
colliery, and one man named Thomas Harding was severely 

* See Sykes, August 22, 1755. 


1839(-4/>n726). The merchant vessel Ida, Captain John Currie, 
the property of Messrs. Johnson and Cargill of Newcastle, arrived 
in the Tyne from the East Indies with a valuable cargo of sugar, 
sulphur, hides, rice, &c. This was the first vessel that had ever 
been bound direct from India to Newcastle, and her arrival excited 
much interest among the mercantile community. The bells of 
St. Nicholas rang a merry peal in honour of the event. 

April 30. As police constable No. 17, Robert Bartram, 
was on duty near the Postern about 3 o'clock in the morning, he 
heard cries as of a female in distress, and on approaching the grate 
of a common sewer, he saw a woman underneath. Implements 
having been obtained, the grate was lifted, and she was extricated 
in a most deplorable condition. Her name was Margaret Scott, 
and she must have wandered through the sewers for a considerable 

April. This month "The Newcastle and Hamburg Steam 
Shipping Company" was established. One of the company's 
vessels named the Clyde, the first steam vessel direct to 
Hamburg and Rotterdam from Newcastle, sailed from, the Tyne 
on May the 6th. 

May 5. Died, in Hallgarth-street, Durham, Mrs. Margaret 
Gent, aged 100. 

May. There was living at North Shields at this time, an 
ancient dame, named Hannah Conner, in her 100th year, possessing 
her memory and enjoying good health. 

May 20. For some time previous to this date occasional 
meetings had been held in Newcastle and Gateshead, by a body of 
men calling themselves Chartists. Their object was the advocacy 
of universal suffrage, annual parliaments, vote by ballot, no pro- 
perty qualification for members of parliament, and the payment of 
representatives. Those meetings at last were so numerous that it 
would be impossible to notice them separately, but the assemblies 
which took place on the above day were of too important a character 
to be omitted. .They were held by command of the National 
Convention, (a body which had been elected from each town and 
district in the previous Nevernber, and was still sitting in London). 
About 10,000 persons met upon the Town Moor, Newcastle, the 
greater bulk was from the collieries, Newcastle having furnished 
very few. Mr. Thomas Hepburn was in the chair, and the prin- 
cipal speakers were Mr. Hume, Mr. Ayre, Mr. Charlton, Mr. 
Cooke, Mr. Cockburn, Mr. Stokoe, Mr. Rewcastle, Mr. Blakey, 
Mr. Harney, Mr. Mason, Mr. Currie, Mr. Knox, Mr. Devyr, 
Mr. Duncan, Mr. Lowrey, Dr. Taylor, and others. The language 
of several of those persons was highly inflammatory. A similar 
meeting was held at Sunderland, at which about 15,000 persons 
were present ; Mr. Williams in the chair. These assemblies, as 
well as those in other parts of the country, had engaged the 
attention of the government, and on the 15th of May a large 
quantity of ammunition arrived in Newcastle from the stores at 
Tynemouth, an order too was issued that sixty rounds of ball 


cartridge should be supplied to the troops throughout the country. 
Meanwhile, the people were acting on the suggestion of their 
leaders in every particular, money was withdrawn from the savings 
banks, and invested in a manner which they persuaded themselves 
was more profitable. The manufacture of ' caltrops" and " pike 
heads" was becoming more and more the staple of those whose 
employment it was. Immense numbers made by the Winlaton men 
for 4d. and 6d. a piece, were sold to brothdr Chartists for Is. Gd. 9 
and men who formerly made less then 3s. a day, could now obtain 
15s. by this illegal calling. The begging box, too, as it was called, 
was carried amongst the shopkeepers, and those who refused to 
contribute were soundly threatened and entered in a black book as 
marked men. Bands of sturdy beggars were continually prowling 
about the counties of Northumberland and Durham, committing 
petty thefts and felonies, accompany injury with insult. In one 
instance four sturdy rogues took down some fish from the wall of 
a farm house, and entering the kitchen coolly demanded that 
they should be cooked. In some instances the most brutal threats 
were uttered when not readily assisted with money and provisions, 
and a great degree of alarm was created among the inhabitants of 
lonely places. 

1839 (May 21). That portion of the line of the Newcastle and 
Carlisle Railway between Blaydon and the company's depot, 
near the Elswick Shot Tower, Newcastle, was opened with some 
ceremony. The opening for passenger traffic did not take place 
till the 26th of October. 

May 22. Died, at Denton Hall, Northumberland, in his 
60th year, Richard Hoyle, esq., merchant, of Newcastle. Mr. 
Hoyle was a native of Rippendon, in the west riding of Yorkshire, 
where his family had been settled for many centuries, and enjoyed 
extensive possessions. He was educated at Emanuel College, 
Cambridge, and pursued the study of chemistry with some 
success. In 1801, in conjunction with the late Dr. Stancliffe, 
he prepared a course of lectures on that subject for the new 
institution of the Literary and Philosophical Society at Newcastle, 
and his attainments in this branch of science enabled him to adopt 
many improvements in the process of various manufactures in 
which he was engaged. 

May 23. A fire broke out in one of the cottages on Mr. 
Younghusband's farm at Elwick, near Belford, which, owing to 
being thatched, threatened destruction to the whole of the 
buildings, but by the kind assistance of his neighbours, Messrs. 
Berwick, Hall, Bromfield, Bolam, Scott, and others, he was 
enabled to get the fire reduced, though not till four of the cottages 
were entirely destroyed. 

May 28. The first coals from Garmondsway Moor colliery, 
the property of Thomas Richmond Gale Braddyll, esq., and 
partners, were shipped at Hartlepool. 

May 31. A most destructive fire occurred on the premises of 
Mr. John Atkinson, coach-builder, in Newcastle. The fire was 


supposed to have originated in the smith's department, but at the 
time of their discovery, one o'clock, the flames were proceeding 
from the " fitting-up shop," and long before anything could be 
attempted to arrest their violence they had spread with great 
rapidity over the adjacent buildings. In less than half-an-hour 
every street in the neighbourhood was crowded with persons, who 
stood watching in utter amazement the destructive progress of the 
devouring element. About two o'clock the fire was at its height, 
and from its immense body it presented an awful appearance, 
while the high wind which prevailed caused the utmost anxiety for 
the premises adjoining. The fire engines were speedily brought 
up, but for more than half-an-hour there was little or no water in 
the pipes, and the destructive progress of the fire was consequently 
unchecked for so long a period that all subsequent efforts to save 
the workshops were rendered futile. The efforts of the firemen 
were at last successful, though the dyehouse of Mr. Fenwick was 
entirely burnt down. The show rooms of Mr. Atkinson's premises 
contained a number of finished carriages, but by the timely arrival 
of a body of soldiers from the barracks, with two engines, it was 
preserved from injury, and the fire was got under about three 
o'clock, and by half-past three all danger of its spreading further 
had ceased. It is impossible to describe the scene of distress that 
presented itself on every hand during the progress of the conflagra- 
tion. Every house in the neighbourhood was deserted, beds, 
bedding, and furniture of all descriptions were piled together in 
the middle of Pilgrim-street, and along Hood-street and Market- 
street, even extending into Grey-street and Blackett-street. 
Women and children were to be seen in their night clothes, taking 
shelter beside their little all, whilst fathers and husbands rushed 
into the apartments they had quitted the moment before, in order, 
if possible, to save something out of the general wreck. As to the 
extent of the damage, there was much difficulty in forming an 
adequate estimate. Mr. Atkinson's loss was immense. The entire 
destruction of property, including the whole of the workmen's 
tools, was supposed to amount to 22,000; the greater part of 
which fell upon the proprietor himself. Mr. Atkinson afterwards 
commenced an action against the Water Company for the deficient 
supply of water, but the matter was privately arranged. 

1839 (June 13). The body of a man was found in the river Wear, 
at Sunderland, attached by a rope to a large stone. The skull 
was fractured into numberless pieces ; and the body was naked, 
save a flannel shirt and stockings. The body was removed to the 
workhouse at Monkwearmouth, where it was identified by two of 
the crew of the Phoenix, of Stettin, as that of their captain, Johann 
Friedrich Berckholtz, who was about fifty-five years of age. No 
doubt being held as to the deceased having met his death unfairly, 
instant search was made, and the cabin was found to bear evident 
marks of the deed. Subsequent investigation led to the committal 
of Jacob Friedrich Ehlert, the mate of the ship, and Daniel Muller, 
aged 19, the cabin boy, and they both confessed being accomplices 



in the murder, but mutually charged each other with_ the deed. 
At the ensuing assizes at Durham the same assertions were 
reiterated, but from the statement of the boy, who was admitted 
a witness for the crown, it appeared that on the night of the llth, 
the mate, after giving him some spirits, induced him to go into 
the cabin where the captain slept, and while he (the boy) held a 
lantern the mate struck the unfortunate master three heavy blows 
on the head with a hammer, by which death was caused 
immediately. He then drew the body up to the deck, and with 
the assistance of the witness let it drop into the river by a line 
attached to it. They then got into a boat and rowed near to the 
bridge, dragging the body after them, and the mate having 
procured a stone, he tied it to the body, and let both sink into the 
middle of the stream. There were several circumstances in the 
boy's story corroborated by the crew and others concerned in the 
matter. The jury found Ehlert guilty, and he was executed at 
Durham on the 16th of August, persisting in his innocence to the 
last. He was a native of Barth-Pomerania. 

1839 (June). About the middle of this month, a curious discovery 
was made in the old tower of Durham Castle, which was then 
being restored for the purposes of the University. Amongst the 
rubbish in the lower crypt several bones of a whale were dug out, 
consisting of about 15 vertebra, 20 ribs, and the lower jaw bones. 
From a letter written by Bishop Cosin to his steward, Miles 
Staplyton, dated London, 20th June, 1661, in the possession of the 
Rev. James Raine, of Durham, the particulars of this discovery 
are clearly made out. as it there appears that this animal being 
cast ashore near Easington, the bishop ordered the skeleton to be 
prepared and placed in the old tower, where it was found. From 
the form of the jaws the species was conjectured to be the great 
spermeceti whale, which has seldom been observed on the British 
shores, only one taken in the Frith of Forth in 1769, being 
distinctly recorded. 

June 17. The Newcastle Central Exchange and News 
Room, one of Mr. Grainger's most splendid erections, was opened 
by a public dinner. The magnificent interior of the exchange was 
tastefully fitted up on the occasion, seven large tables were laid 
out on the promenade for dinner, an excellent band played appro- 
priate airs, an admirable bust in marble of the duke of Northum- 
berland, by Tate, and several other busts, presented by Messrs. 
Robson, Farrington, Barrow, Dodds, &c., were placed in various 
parts of the spacious building, and the dinner party, consisting of 
360 gentlemen, forming altogether a scene of the most gratifying 
description. The chair was ably filled by the mayor of Newcastle 
(John Fife, esq.), and the vice presidents were Dr. Headlam, John 
Brandling, John Clayton, and Armorer Donkin, esqs. 

June 17. The Queen Victoria steamer, the property of Mrs. 
Strong, Milburn-place, North Shields, left the Tyne at five o'clock 
in the morning on a pleasure trip to Warkworth, with a numerous 
party on board. At about half-past eleven in the forenoon, when, 


a hearty country dance was in progress, the vessel struck with 
great violence on Hauxley Head, a few miles south of Warkworth. 
The effect of the shock was tremendous. Many were thrown on 
their faces, and all was confusion on board. The screams and 
cries of the women were truly heartrending, while some of the 
men were calmly imploring for mercy. One gentleman had 
seized a piece of timber with which to spring into the sea. A few 
young men were standing, waiting the " parting heave," with their 
clothes unbuttoned ready to throw off ere they jumped into the 
deep. The boat by this time had nearly filled, the helm was 
seized by one of the passengers, and the vessel was forced as high 
upon the rock as she would go. It would be superfluous to state 
the joy that beamed from every face when six fishing boats came 
in sight and were in a minute or two alongside the steamer. The 
passengers were soon taken out and landed safe on the shore. In 
speaking of the gratitude of the party to the fishermen, one 
creature deserves notice who had been most lusty in the expression 
of woe in the hour of peril. He demurred to give his preservers 
(as the others did) one shilling, observing that sixpence from each 
was plenty. But possibly he estimated himself at his proper value. 
The passengers were brought home in six carts, and reached 
Shields at five o'clock on the following morning, in a miserable 

l839(June IS). Being the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, 
that portion of the Brandling Junction Railway which connects 
South Shields and Monkwearmouth, was opened with due ceremony 
and rejoicing. 

Same day the Newcastle and North Shields Railway was opened, 
and both towns celebrated the event by the ringing of bells, the 
firing of cannon, the display of flags, and the usual demonstrations 
of rejoicings. The ladies and gentlemen invited by the directors 
were conveyed to Shields in two trains, drawn by the Wellington 
and Hotspur engines. The procession excited great interest all 
along the line, the sides of which were crowded throughout with 
the neighbouring inhabitants ; and the party arrived at Shields 
amidst the hearty cheering of thousands assembled. A liberal 
entertainment was provided for the company by the directors, in 
a tent at the rear of the residence of Abraham Dawson, esq., who 
had kindly lent his mansion and grounds for the day. Upwards 
of six hundred persons partook of the dejeuner, Richard Spoor, 
esq., of Sunderland, in the chair, with John Fife, esq., mayor of 
Newcastle, on his right. There were arrangements, under the 
direction of Captain Potts, for races on Tynemouth Sands, but it 
was found impossible to adhere to punctuality, and the people 
were induced by symptoms of a storm to return to the village. 
There were a few who disregarded the threats of the heavens, and 
these paid the penalty of their audacity. The thunder began to 
peal, and big drops of rain to fall. The sporting lingerers fled 
for refuge to niches in the rocks, which afforded so little refuge 
from the storm, that in a short time they were wet to the skin, with 


a delightful compound of soft water and yellow sand. Meanwhile 
the inveterate racers ran the race, three in number, the spectators 
looking from their holes in the cliffs on the sport afforded by three 
jockeys on racehorses, splashing through torrents of rain in the 
inidst of thunder and lightning. 

Between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, the storm 
commenced at Newcastle. Rain continued to descend with the 
utmost fury for nearly two hours, during which time, the quantity 
of water which fell, and the amount of damage done, was almost 
incredible. In many of the streets, even in elevated situations, 
the water flowed to the depth of three or four feet, and rushed 
forward with all the impetuosity of a cascade. The rush of water 
down Dean-street, the Side, Butcher -bank, and the narrow gorge 
leading thence to the Sandhill, was tremendous. Three or four 
persons, who were carried off their feet, were washed a considerable 
distance, and narrowly escaped being floated into the Tyne. The 
lower part of Gateshead was flooded to a great depth. The 
water poured down tlie Bottle-bank like a cataract ; and near the 
bridge chairs, tables, cradles, &c., were floating to and fro. Cellars 
were filled, and in that of Mr. Atkinson, grocer, damage was done 
chiefly in the melting of sugar to the extent of at least 60. 
Walls were thrown down by accumulated water in various places ; 
and at Tantoby, John and Catherine Teasdale, and one of their 
children, were killed by the lightning, another child was injured ; 
while a third, which lay in the cradle, was unhurt. At Beamish, 
six or seven men were thrown upon their backs by the lightning, 
but escaped without injury. An excavator named James Taylor, 
of Byers Green, was struck dead by the lightning ; and more or 
less damage was sustained throughout the district, either from the 
lightning or the flood. 

1839 (June 26). Newcastle Races. Wednesday, the Northum- 
berland Plate was won by Mr. Lambert's br h St. Bennett (Lye). 
Thursday, the 27th, the Gold Cup was won by Mr. Orde's b m 
Beeswing (Cartwright). 

June 28. At nine o'clock this morning, an appalling explosion 
took place in the west workings of the St. Hilda colliery, the 
property of Messrs. John and Robert William Brandling, at South 
Shields. Upwards of 150 persons were at work at the time in the 
pit, and their dwellings being contiguous or closely adjoining, the 
most agonizing scenes took place as soon as the calamity became 
known. It was certainly a most harrowing spectacle to behold 
the groups of people assembled, amongst whom could be easily 
recognised relatives of all ages of the unfortunate creatures who 
had been exposed to the appalling dangers of this frightful explo- 
sion. Fortunately about 100 of the men were engaged at some 
distance from the west workings, and were enabled to escape. 
Several of these were nearly exhausted from the effects of " choke 
damp," but in a short time many of them rallied, and by their 
generous efforts fifty lifeless corpses were with difficulty discovered 
and brought up, some dreadfully mutilated. The viewer of the 
pit, William Anderson, esq., was at the scene of destruction soon 

A.15. 1839.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 117 

after its occurrence, and went down into the mine where he 
remained till nearly one o'clock. Shortly after noon, Mr. Jobling, 
viewer of Heworth colliery, went down in order to render assist- 
ance. Mr. Mather, wine merchant, also descended the pit at an 
early hour, and administered to the brave fellows engaged in 
searching for the dead bodies such remedies as they stood in need 
of from prolonged exertion in the suffocating atmosphere. Among 
the sufferers was Joseph Argyle, aged 45 years. He descended 
the pit to look for his son, and was brought up a corpse. The 
brother of this poor fellow was with him when they were 
overtaken by the choke damp, and urged him to retire, but he 
persevered in seeking for his son and fell a sacrifice to parental 
affection. The pit had been worked about fifteen years, and 
during the whole of that time no serious explosion had taken 
place, although the men invariably used candles, and it was 
supposed the accident had taken place from some person having 
needlessly gone with an open light into a disused part of the mine. 
A large subscription was raised for the relief of the unfortunate 
widows and orphans, in number more than sixty. 

1839 (July 7). Great sensation was created in the Chartist 
Camp by the news that Dr. Taylor, one of their leaders, had been 
apprehended for sedition, at Birmingham. Crowds of people 
assembled at the corners of the streets, in deep and earnest 
discussion, and written placards were exhibited calling a public 
meeting in the New Lecture Room, Nelson Street, Newcastle, 
at six in the evening. By the hour of meeting the room was 
filled, and before the speakers arrived, it was crowded to excess. 
The speakers inculcated the purchase of arms, robbery, and 
instantaneous cessation 'from work. Such language as this 
brought George Julian Harney under the arm of the law, and 
near midnight two police officers arrived at Bedlington for his 
apprehension. He was found in bed at the house of Mr. 
Henderson, surgeon, and was quickly conveyed southward, passing 
through Newcastle at five o'clock, a.m., and proceeding to Carlisle 
by the first train. On the afternoon of the next day, two delegates 
(Keeves and Watson), burning with the news of Harney's arrest, 
arrived at Thornley Colliery, Durham. For some time past the 
workmen of this district had been in a most unsettled state, and 
the harangues of those persons found ready auditors. The arrest 
of a political leader in times of excitement is always a matter of 
popular interest, and doubly so when ingeniously embellished by 
these orators, who related that " he had been torn from his bed, 
from the arms of his wife, without time being allowed him to dress 
and dragged to a gaol." In less than half-an-hour they had got a 
large body of men together, who proceeded to South Hetton and 
Haswell, forcing men into their ranks, or brutally threatening 
their being "marked" if they refused. It was 10 p.m. when 
they arrived, tired and wet, at Sunderland Moor, in the expecta- 
tion of being at the meeting, which was held there at night, but 
all was over when they arrived. From this date till the end of the 


month, meetings took place almost nightly in the Forth, Newcastle, 
and other places, and the most violent language was indulged in. 
Pikes began to be seen in the streets, and a Mr. Mason announced 
that 10,000 of these weapons had been ordered. The great 
recommendation of the speakers was that the Chartists should 
hold themselves in readiness for the " Sacred Month," which was 
fixed by the National Convention to commence on the 17th of 
August, and which, it was expected, would revolutionize the 
country. The excitement seemed to increase with the number of 
the meetings. On the 20th, shortly after midnight, a fight 
occurred at the Head of the Side, a great crowd gathered round 
the pugilists gradually increasing to several hundreds, who began 
to manifest indisputable signs of mischief. The policeman on 
duty, Cuthbert Eidley, interfered and was very roughly handled, 
he sprung his rattle and displayed his truncheon in self-defence, 
but he was soon overpowered, thrown down, and kicked -in a 
savage and brutal manner. Four other policemen came up at the 
time and shared a similar fate. An active officer, named Leslie, 
was seriously injured about the head. A prisoner, named Bruce, 
whom he had in custody, and who was rescued by the mob, was 
the means of saving his life, by having him conveyed home in a 
state of insensibility. The mob then commenced an attack upon 
the lamps which were all put out, and next upon the Union Bank, 
in St. Nicholas'-square, the shutters and windows of which were 
nearly all destroyed. Then then moved down Mosley-street, and 
Dean-street, not a house escaping damage from brickbats and stones, 
but the " Tyne Mercury" office, in the latter street, was a notable 
instance of their vengeance, the window frames and glass being 
completely knocked to pieces. The re'spectable inhabitants of 
these streets were dreadfully alarmed for the triumphant yells set 
up after each successive act of demolition, were truly appalling. 
The police force by this time mustered strongly, and, with the 
mayor at their head, they soon succeeded in dispersing the rioters. 
On the 22nd, Messrs. Williams and Binns, of Sunderland, who 
had been at the head of the Chartists in that town, and had 
distinguished themselves by seditious language, were also appre- 
hended and committed for trial. At the following assizes they 
were sentenced to six months'* imprisonment. 

On Monday, July 22nd, Archibald White, Peter Flannaghan, 
John Sutheron, John Thompson, William Campbell, Peter Devine, 
Peter Brown, Barnard Flannaghan, and Thomas Owen, were 
brought up before the Newcastle magistrates for examination. 
Sutheron was discharged, as he had only fought in self-defence. 
Peter Flannaghan was ordered to pay a fine of 20s. and 2s. 6d. 
costs, and in default to be imprisoned for a month. The remainder 
of the prisoners were remanded, on account of the non-attendance 
of Leslie, who was in a very precarious state. They were again 
brought up on the following day and committed for trial at the 
ensuing assizes, when a verdict of guilty was returned against 
Flannaghan, Devine, and White ; Flannaghan was sentenced to 

THE FORTH, N E W C A S T L E - U P O N -T Y N E , 
Removed to form Neville Street. See Sykes, vol. l,page 110. 


18 months', Devine 12 months', and White 6 months' imprisonment 
with hard labour, the other prisoners were acquitted. On the 
above day, the councils of Gateshead and Durham passed resolu- 
tions for the swearing in of special constables, with a view of 
putting a stop to the riotous assemblies which prevailed. On the 
23rd, a meeting was held in the Forth, Newcastle ; but on the 
24th, the mayor (J. Fife, esq ) issued an order for the dispersion 
of any future meetings held in the town, and invited the peaceable 
inhabitants to come forward as special constables ; 600 persons 
immediately responded to the request. Notwithstanding the 
repeated cautions which were issued by the authorities, a number 
of men from the country marched to the Forth on the 30th, and 
expressed their determination to hold a meeting. As soon as this 
was known the mayor and Dr. Headlam left the Manors on horse- 
back. On reaching Collingwood-street, they came in collision 
with a body of Chartists, when the mayor seized hold of a banner 
and the banner bearer, commanding an instant surrender, but he 
refusing a sharp struggle ensued, in which a tailor from Whitting- 
ham received a wound from a sword in the abdomen, and was 
instantly conveyed to the Infirmary. Dr. Headlam and two 
gentlemen passing, came up and assisted the mayor, but being 
overpowered the man broke away, and the whole body was allowed 
to proceed. The mayor and Dr. Headlam rode towards the Forth, 
and made another attempt to disperse the mob, the only effect of 
which was to cause a cowardly assault upon both of them with 
stories. The riot act having been read four times without success, 
the police were ordered to march forward, which they did 
with great effect, seizing upon all the banners of the mob, 
and capturing several of the most active amongst them. 
The rioters next attacked the police with repeated volleys 
of stones, by one of which Dr. Headlam was slightly in- 
jured. But about this time a troop of dragoons arid some 
infantry, under the command of Colin Campbell (afterwards 
Lord Clyde), which had been sent from the barracks, speedily put 
an end to the affray. The cavalry galloped along the streets, up 
passages and lanes, the affrighted people rushing in all directions 
to find shelter. One dragoon, whether from design or in the 
excitement and heedlessness of the moment, rushed down the 
Arcade at full speed, and without pulling up flew down, horse and 
man, the steep and lengthy flight of stairs leading into the Manors, 
and what is remarkable, neither received any injury. Mr. Dunn 
and Mr. Plummer, with a strong body of police, proceeded down 
the Side and other places, clearing the streets as they went. Before 
midnight about thirty rioters had been captured and lodged in the 
gaol. The next day, the 31st, the mayor issued a bill cordially 
thanking the special constables for their assistance on the preceding 
night, and strongly recommending that the peaceable inhabitants 
should either become special constables or remain in their own 
houses after nightfall, as by swelling the crowd they exposed 
themselves to danger, and materially increased the difficulties which 


the authorities experienced. The system of exclusive dealing was 
carried to a laughable extent in Newcastle about this time. A 
Tontlemnn who had long been in the habit of paying a visit to a 
barber's shop in Blackett-street on calling one morning found the 
" hall deserted," and on looking round the following notice caught 

his eye : " Any person frequenting this shop and acting as special 

constable will refrain from coming here in future. Signed G-. 
Smith." The Chartist fiat had gone forth, " Special constables 
shall henceforth shave themselves or be content to wear their 
beards." Shortly after Smith was brought up for being drunk, 
and Mr. Inspector Little described his conduct as being " very 
aristocratical " The police went through all the cookshops in the 
town to get him something to eat, but he refused to eat anything 
but roast beef. After this period the proceedings of the Chartists 
are almost wholly unworthy of notice. 

1839 (August 3). A seam of roal, three feet ten inches in thick- 
ness, was come at in Wingate Pit, the property of Lord Howden. 
The seam is at the depth of 66 fathoms from the surface, and of 
first- rate quality. 

August 7. Died, at Alnwick. suddenly, Edward B. Blackburn, 
esq., many years chief judge in the Mauritius, and late first 
commissioner to his grace the Duke of Northumberland. This 
melancholy event was deeply deplored by all classes of society, 
although his residence in the neighbourhood had been of short 

August 19. Dr. Clanny, of Sunderland, read an important 
paper in the hall of the Mechanics' Institution, South Shields, to 
the members of the Committee for the Investigation of Accidents 
in Mines. It is due to this talented and scientific gentleman to 
state that he was the first to meet the difficulties of the mines by 
human ingenuity, and a lamp of his was in existence and used in 
some of the mines on the Wear long ere any attempt was made by 
any other person. The great principle of this safety lamp is that 
the admission of air is wholly from above the flame, so that the 
influence of currents acting laterally is in a great measure 
prevented. Another source of safety is that the wire gauze 
cylinder contains 1,296 meshes, while the " Davy" contains only 
700 meshes to the square inch. 

August 30. The opening of the Brandling Junction Railway, 
from Gateshead to Monkwearmouth, took place, when sixty-one 
waggons of coal, from South Beaumont Colliery, were conveyed 
along the line and shipped on board a vessel lying at Monkwear- 
mouth Docks. This vessel the " Jane," of Aberdeen, Captain 
Goldie, was most fantastically dressed out with flags of various 
colours and designs, which floated in the breeze, giving an air of 
much animation and rejoicing to the scene. A sumptuous 
entertainment was prepared on the occasion, at the expense of the 
Wearmouth Dock Company, at which Sir Hedworth Williamson, 
bart, presided. On the 6th of September following, the entire 
line, from Gateshead to South Shields and Sunderland, was opened 


for the conveyance of passengers and goods, when the distance 
from Gateshead to Morikwearmouth was performed in forty-six 
minutes, arid the return trip in forty-three minutes. 

1839 (August 31^). A man, named John Henry Mooney, was seen 
falling head foremost from the third storey of a house of ill- fame in 
Silver-street, Newcastle, and was so severely injured that he died 
soon after, leaving a wife and family to mourn his wretched end. 
This outrage, it seems, had been committed by two men, named 
D wyer and Spark, who, with the aid and counsel of some abandoned 
females, had given rise to a quarrel, and during the scuffle he had 
been thrown out. Dwyer and Spark were tried at the next 
assizes, before Mr. Justice Coleridge, and sentenced to fifteen 
years' transportation. 

September 1. Three boys were observed from the heights of 
Tynemouth in a boat, a long way out at sea, with a strong south- 
west wind, an ebb tide, and a good deal of Upper on the bar. 
Every moment increased their peril as they drifted further off ; 
and as no means of rescue appeared at hand, Mr. James Mather, 
of South Shields, who had on former occasions distinguished himself 
in a similar manner, hastened down into the Haven, where, having 
found a pilot coble, and two men in it, and having prevailed on, 
another man to join them, he caused the boat to put to sea. They 
at last got sight of the poor little fellows about two miles off. The 
coble bore down upon them, and on nearing the boat, the cries of 
the boys, who had given themselves up for lost, were truly heart- 
rending. An attempt was made to tow the boat, but it was found 
impossible ; the boys were therefore taken into the coble, and the 
boat abandoned. After great exertion and a good wetting, a 
landing was effected at Hartley Baits. Much praise is due to Mr. 
Mather, who liberally remunerated the men for their exertions ; 
and also to his intrepid companion, who were the means of rescuing 
the boys from a watery grave. The thanks of the committee of 
the Royal Humane Society, inscribed on vellum, was shortly after 
presented to Mr. Mather, through the medium of the president, 
his grace the Duke of Northumberland. 

September 9. The foundation-stone of a new church was laid 
at Tynemouth by M. Bell, esq., M.P., who appeared as the 
representative of his grace the Duke of Northumberland, who was 
unavoidably absent through indisposition. The site on which the 
church is built was presented by his grace, together with a donation, 
of 200 towards the endowment. Messrs. John and Benjamin 
Green, of Newcastle, were the architects for the building, which is 
a great ornament to the village of Tynemouth. The style of 
architecture is of the 15th century. There is a tower at the west 
end, surmounted by a spire, 95 feet in height. There are 500 
sittings on the ground floor, 250 of which are free. 

September 15. The rivers of Northumberland were flooded 
to a fearful extent, in consequence of the heavy rain which fell on 
the preceding day. The Coquet presented such a scene as tha 
oldest living man, never witnessed. The rain, to use a commoa 



saying, " fell whole water, " and a gale from the east gave it 
character of the roost fearful description ; yet no apprehensions 
were entertained that the river would so far overflow its boundaries 
as to cause that destruction which was done. The appearance of 
the majestic stream from Felton Bridge was singularly picturesque, 
rushing from the deep woody recesses of Felton Park covered with 
autumnal spoils, and bidding defiance to the puny arm of man tc* 
rob it of trophies. For two hours it presented an unbroken stream 
of sheaves of corn, hay, trees, gates, and a great number of sheep, 
Mr. Spearman, of Warton, Mr. Story, of Caistron, and Mr. Arm- 
strong, of Thorney Haugh, suffered severely. A poor hare was 
seen below Weldon Bridge sailing down upon a sheaf of corn, her 
frail bark was cast upon a savage shore, and the timid navigator 
fell a prey to barbarians. The corn grounds upon the Till were 
inundated, and the vale of Wooler was one sheet of water. The 
Wansbeck rose three feet higher than in the great flood of Feb., 
1831. Mr. Leightley, of Bothal Haughs, lost a stack of hay about 
3 tons weight, which, after being carried out to sea a few miles ^ 
was finally landed quite whole upon Newbiggen sands-. The Reed 
and the other rivers flowing into the North Tyne were enormously 
swollen, but perhaps none so much as a small rivulet that winds 
its course close past the eastern side of the village of Otterburn. 
Every house in that village, with but two exceptions, was more or 
less flooded with water, and in many the inundation was several 
feet deep. At Hexham, the tan-yard of Mr. John Ridley was- 
completely overflowed, and considerable damage done to the bark 
liquor in the pits. The houses in the neighbourhood were so much 
flooded, that the chairs and tables floated in the rooms. Among the 
various articles washed down the Tyne, were large quantities of 
bobbins of cotton thread. Many of these were picked up at Blyth. 

1839 (September \1). The port of Seaton Sluice was a scene of 
great rejoicing, in consequence of the welcome dinner given to Mr. 
James Thompson, the landlord of the Melton Constable Hotel, 
lately erected there, it being more than half a century since any 
improvements had been made in that town. The harbour there is 
one of great curiosity, having been cut through a solid rock, the 
entrance into which being 52 feet deep-, 30 feet broad, and 90O 
feet long, and is well worthy the attention of the stranger. 

September 26. The foundation stone of an Episcopal chapel 
at West Herrington, near Houghton-le-Spring, was laid by 
the Rev. R. Shepherd, curate of Houghton. The Rev. E. S. 
Thurlow, rector of Houghton, erected the edifice at his own 
expense. This was the third chapel erected in the parish by Mr. 
Thurlow, in less than fifteen years. The chapel was consecrated 
September 8th, 1840, by the Bishop of Durham. 

September 28. Died, at Witton Gilbert, near Durham, the 
Very Rev. Richard Richardson, D.D., in the 88th year of his age. 
He had held the perpetual curacy of Witton Gilbert for upwards 
of fifty-nine years and was also precentor of St. David's, rector of 
Brancepeth, and chancellor of St. Paul's, London. 


1839 (October 14.). Died, in East Holborn, South Shields, aged 
103, Mrs. Jane Brown. 

October 19. A frightful accident occurred at the ironside 
pit, a few miles distant from Whitburn. Six of the workmen 
were sitting in the engine room, when the boiler exploded with a 
terrible crash, bursting the walls of the building, and burying 
the men in the ruins. Only one was got out alive, but so severely 
injured that his recovery was doubtful. Two of the deceased 
were brothers of the name of Russell, another was named William 
Hine, who left a widow and family. 

October 23. His royal highness the Duke of Sussex arrived 
at Lambton Castle on a visit to the Earl of Durham, On 
November 4th he visited Durham, accompanied by Lady Cecilia 
Underwood, the Earl and Countess of Durham, and the ladies 
Lambton, when he received a congratulary address from the 
corporation, and was entertained in the college by the Rev. 
Prebendary Ogle. On the following day, at a Provincial Grand 
Lodge of Freemasons, held at Chester-le-street, a similar compli- 
ment was paid him. On November 7th his royal highness visited 
Newcastle. A few minutes before twelve o'clock a salute from 
the castle announced the arrival of the duke. He was accom- 
panied by the Earl of Durham, in a carriage drawn by four 
splendid greys. His royal highness and friends proceeded to the 
Assembly Rooms, where they were received by a guard of 
honour, composed of the officers of the garrison and the splendid 
band of the 98th regiment. Immediately after alighting his royal 
highness, as grand master of the ancient order of free masons, 
proceeded to hold a lodge, and was met by about 300 free masons 
of the united lodges of the town and neighbourhood. The 
anniversary of the Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts was 
then held in the same building. The Earl of Durham presided, 
with the royal duke on his right, and was supported by a number 
of distinguished individuals of both sexes. Mr. Lockey Harle, 
one of the secretaries, read the committee's report, and the meeting 
was subsequently addressed by William Ord, esq., M.P. ; Mr. 
Easthope, M.P. ; Mr. Hutt, M.P. ; Mr. Hawes, M.P. ; Mr. C. 
Buller, M.P. ; the Duke of Sussex, the Earl of Durham, and 
others. After the meeting his royal highness partook of a splendid 
dejeuner a la fourchette, prepared by Mr. Haigh, the keeper of the 
rooms, in a style of magnificence corresponding with the occasion. 
His royal highness, in the course of the afternoon, paid a visit 
to the Royal Exchange News Raom, where he was received by 
John Brandling, esq., as chairman of the committee, who also 
introduced Mr. Grainger to the royal visitor, Mr. Benjamin 
Green had also the honour of being presented to his royal highness 
for the purpose of explaining his plan of a projected high level 
bridge from Newcastle to Gateshead. The duke and his noble 
f rien Is then took their departure. After sojourning about a 
month at Lambton Castle, the royal duke proceeded on a visit to 
Earl Grey, at Howick. 


1839 (November 2). Died, at South Shields, aged 105 years, 
Mrs. Ann Brown. 

November 9. The following gentlemen were elected mayors 
and sheriffs : Newcastle John Carr, esq., mayor ; Robert 
Boyd, esq., sheriff. Gateshead William Henry Brockett, esq. 
Durham A. W. Hutchinson, esq. Sunderland Joseph Brown, 
esq, M.D. Stockton Thomas Jennet, esq. Morpeth John 
Creighton, esq. Berwick George Gilchrist, esq., mayor ; John 
Miller Dickson, esq., sheriff. 

November 12. His royal highness the Duke of Sussex paid 
a visit to the town of Sunderland, when he performed the 
interesting ceremony of laying the foundation-stone of a large 
building, to be called the Athenaeum. His royal highness was 
escorted to the ground by the Earl-and Countess of Durham, the 
Earl and Countess of Zetland, Sir Hed worth and Lady Williamson, 
&c. A grand masonic festival was held on the same evening, in 
the Bridge Hotel, at which the Earl of Durham presided. The 
plans of the building, which is in the Ionic style, were by Mr. 
Billington, and include a capacious hall for public meetings, a 
large lecture room, a library, a museum, and a number of other 
apartments. The building was opened the 1st of June, 1841. 

November 29. A horrible event was discovered on board 
a vessel lying at Berwick Quay the Martha, schooner, of 
Cockenzie, William Ovens, master. At night, the crew after 
putting the hatches on, went to bed, the captain and mate in the 
cabin and the three seamen in the forecastle. In the morning, 
the mate, seeing none of the men stirring, went to call them, 
when he was horrified at discovering two of them lying dead, 
and the third nearly so. They had been suffocated by the fumes 
of the stove. The man still in life was removed to the dispensary, 
where means for his restoration were successfully applied. Dr. 
Edgar attempted to bleed the other two, but in vain. 

November 30. The foundation-stone of "The Corporation 
Hall," Stockton-upon- Tees, was laid by Thomas Jennett, esq., 
mayor, in the presence of a numerous assemblage of the inhabi- 
tants. The building, which was opened on the 23rd October 
following, contained a justice-room, news-room, and other offices. 

November. A. G. Potter, esq., of Walbottle House, with 
his brothers, presented to God and his Church, at Newburn, a 
beautiful and elegant painted window, executed by Mr. Wailes, of 
^Newcastle, in a style which does great credit to his taste and 
skill, and which was placed in the north transept of that sacred 

December 9. A man named Barnet, whilst engaged in 
painting the under part of Sunderland Bridge, accidentally dropped 
from a plank and fell into the river. Strange to say, he was not 
at all injured by his fall, and was picked up by a boat. 

December. During this year, no fewer than 310 vessels were 
built and registered at the port of Sunderland, many of them 
upwards of 000 tons burthen. 


1840 (January 1), A public meeting was held in the Long 
Room, Commercial Hotel, Howard-street, North Shields, to take 
into consideration the propriety of incorporating the borough of. 
Tynemouth. T. Young, esq , was called to the chair, who briefly 
stated the object for which the meeting was called, and was 
followed by A. Crighton, esq., who moved the first resolution. 
Dr. Lietch seconded it, and, in an able address, showed the neces- 
sity, importance, and advantage to be derived by the town being 
incorporated. Same day, a meeting of the ratepayers of South 
Shields was held for the same purpose, when a resolution in favour 
of the incorporation of that borough, was carried by a majority of 
46 votes to 41. The Privy Council did not comply with either of 
the applications. 

January 5. The body of a female was discovered in the 
river Skerne, a few hundred yards from Black well mill, by Mr. 
John Chisman and Mr. Rutter, who were walking on the shore on 
the way to Darlington, The young woman's name was Susan 
Dagley, a native of Coventry, who had worked at Messrs. Pease's 
mill for about nine months, and was missed from her lodgings at 
Priestgate, in Darlington, about five weeks previous. On examina- 
tion, it was clear she had been murdered and thrown into the 
river, but nothing was ever elicited to explain the mystery. 

January 6. An inquest was held at Paston, in the parish of 
Kirknewton, on the bodies of two boys, sons of Ralph Turnbull, 
of Paston, who were unfortunately drowned in the river Beaumont 
on the preceding day. It appeared that the deceased and another 
boy named William Martin, had gone down the river side, where 
a plank about fifteen inches is laid across, and that the children 
having hold of each others hands attempting to go along the plank, 
all fell into the river. The two Turnbulls were carried a consider- 
able distance down the stream, but the other boy providentially 
got out. The bodies of the deceased were soon" afterwards found, 
but life was quite extinct. 

January 29. Died, at Bedlington, aged 110, Mary Lorimer. 
She perfectly remembered the rebellion of 1745, at which time 
she was in service at the High Church, Morpeth. 

February 1. A dreadful collision took place in the river 
Tyne, near Friar's Goose. The London Merchant Steamer was 
going down the river on her voyage to London, and the brig Good 
Intent, from Lynn, laden with flour, was sailing up, towed by 
the steam-tug Margaret, when they came violently in contact 
with each other. The Good Intent was struck on the larboard-bow, 
and in a few minutes went down. The crew had just time to save 
their lives. 

February 9. Died, in Newcastle, aged 59, Mr. Luke Clennell, 
the celebrated p linter and engraver. As a practical wood-engraver 
Clennell possessed great abilities ; but it is to his works as a 
designer and painter that we are to look more especially for the 
evidences of his genius. His powers in delineating rustic as well 
as marine scenery were very great; and it is only necessary to 


advert to his painting of the Allied Sovereigns when in England, 
and the great price it brought in an unfinished state through his 
lamented indisposition to class him as a first-rate artist; and to 
shew to what extent his talents were appreciated. Mr.Clennell was 
one of the most distinguished of Bewick's pupils, and his illustrations 
of Roger's Poems are unequalled as wood-engravings. In his 
youth lie evinced unwearied industry, and was indefatigable in 
his exertions to attain that excellence in the higher walks of his 
profession, to which he ultimately arrived. His remains were 
followed to the grave by most of the artists of the town. A 
handsome marble tablet, by Davies, was placed in St. Andrew's 
Church, to the memory of the deceased. 

1840 (February 10). This being the day appointed for the 
celebration of the marriage of her majesty the Queen with Prince 
Albert Francis Augustus Charles Emmanuel of Saxe Coburg 
Gotha, business was entirely suspended in Newcastle, and every 
appearance of rejoicing was observable throughout the district. 
Flags were hoisted from the church steeples, and the ships in the 
harbour had a most animated appearance. The corporate body 
met in the Guildhall, and at one o'clock a company of the 
Newcastle Yeomanry, under Captain Loraine, took up their 
station on the Sandhill. The bells of the various churches rang 
merry peals, and the castle guns fired a rojal salute, which was 
answered by a feu de joie from the volunteer corps, the whole 
concluding with three hearty cheers. At half-past four a public 
dinner was held in the Central Exchange, at which 241 gentlemen 
sat down to a most sumptuous entertainment, the mayor, John 
Carr, esq., in the chair. Numerous dinner parties were held in 
the various inns, and in the evening, by order of the mayor, 
there was a grand display of fireworks on the parade ground. At 
night a fancy dress ball was held in the Assembly Rooms, and a 
very brilliant gathering took place. At North and South Shields, 
Sunderland, Durham, and all the towns and villages in the district, 
similar rejoicings took place, and the poor were everywhere 
most plentifully provided for. Upon the greatest Roman work in 
Britain, Sewingshields Crags, near Haydon Bridge, and one of the 
wildest spots in the scenery of Northumberland, a bon-fire was 
lighted, and cast its ruddy glare over a vast expanse of country. 

February 22. For the first time in thirty-eight years, two 
competing candidates were in the field to represent the borough of 
Morpeth, in the room of Viscount Leveson, resigned the Hon. 
E. G. G. Howard, son of the earl of Carlisle, and Major Hodgson 
Cadogan, of Bririkburn. The former was proposed by Mr. Petrie 
and seconded by Mr. Hood, the latter was proposed by Mr. Brewis 
arid seconded by Mr. Thompson. Bjth gentlemen addressed the 
electors, but as Mr. Cadogan declined going to a poll, his opponent 
was declared to be elected. 

February 23. Died, in Newcastle, aged 71, Sir Robert 
Shaftoe Hawks. The deceased was knighted by the Prince Recent 
in April, 1817. 


1840 (March ). The foundation stone of a new Wesleyan 
chapel, with sittings for 500 persons, was laid at St. Lawrence, 
near Newcastle, by Mr. John Reay, of Carville. At this time, the 
Wesleyan body had within half a mile on each side of the river, 
between Tynemouth and Hexhara, 88 chapels, capable of accom- 
modating 17,300 persons, which cost in building 28,300. 4,650 
Sunday scholars were also connected with them. 

March 7. A fire broke out this evening in the house and 
shop occupied by Mr. William Cousins, tailor, Long Row, South 
Shields, and in a short time the whole of the premises, as well as 
the adjoining public house of Mr. Samuel Yates, were completely 
destroyed, and some other houses received considerable damage. 
In addition to this calamity a little girl named Frances Place 
perished in the flames. The sufferers lost all their clothes and 
furniture. A public meeting was held on the llth, and a sub- 
scription was entered into for their relief. 

March 14. A fire broke out this morning in the cabinet 
workshops of Mr. John James, situated between Pilgrim-street 
and Erick-street, Newcastle. An immediate alarm was given, but 
the workshops which were formed of three stories, being filled with 
furniture and dry wood, nothing could check the progress of the 
flames, until the destruction of the buildings and their contents 
was completed. 

March 20. A dinner was given at the Blue Bell Inn, New- 
castle, to Mr. Peter Gibson, Dean-street, commemorative of his 
having rescued three persons from drowning. A silver snuff box 
and a memorial narrating the circumstances, were also presented to 
Mr. Gibson. 

March 20. The first iron ship seen on the Tyne, arrived at 
Shields. The vessel which belonged to Hartlepool, was called the 
" John Garrow," John Wilson, master, and was 800 tons burthen. 
Her unusual appearance excited much curiosity. 

March 21. The Thornley Coal Company, Durham, completed 
a sinking to a seam of coal never before worked in that district. 
It lies at a distance of eighty fathoms below the five quarter 
seam, and is four feet thick. This important discovery, which 
affected all the colliery districts of Durham, gave rise to much 

April 1. A dreadful boiler explosion occurred at St. Anthony's 
Oil Mill, near Newcastle, by which two young men named 
Robert Wilson and Benjamin Giles lost their lives. Previous to 
commencing work they sat down in the boiler shed, when, unfor- 
tunately, one of the boilers burst, carrying away the door and part 
of the shed front, with the two poor fellows into the river, a 
distance of fifteen yards. The engineman happily escaped with 
trifling injury. 

April 2. A fine vessel, named the Bucephalus, was launched 
from the dock-yard of Messrs. T. & W. Smith, St. Peter's, near 
Newcastle. The vessel was named by Miss Werge, and was the 
largest which had ever been built on the Tyne. 


1840 (April 7). A Polytechnic Exhibition, for the benefit of the 
North of England Society for the Promotion of the Fine Arts and 
the Mechanics' Institutes of Newcastle and Gateshead, was opened 
by a soiree. The exhibition, which was of the most extensive 
character, was entered by the Academy of Arts, Blackett-street, 
and consisted of a suite of eleven rooms, some of them of consider- 
able size. This magnificent collection of every branch of art, 
science, manufacture, and articles of vertu, every species of 
machinery, apparatus and experiment, every kind of handiwork, 
civilised or savage, every production of nature, whether terrene or 
marine, forming a concatenation of objects of value, interest, 
rarity, or curiosity, perhaps never before brought together, had 
been principally contributed by the neighbouring nobility and 
gentry, and by tradesmen of the town. The surpassing interest 
and brilliancy of the exhibition may in a great measure be 
attributed to the continued and extraordinary exertions of Messrs. 
Thomas Burnett and Henry Brady, the secretaries, Mr. John 
Hancock, the eminent naturalist, Mr. Albany Hancock, Mr. 
Joshua Alder, Mr. George Burnett, Mr. Joseph Watson, and 
others. So completely did the exhibition ensure the purpose for 
which it was intended, and so fully did the inhabitants appreciate 
the boon which had been conferred, that although originally 
opened for three months the exhibition lasted for five, closing in 
the midst of its popularity, and boasting in the aggregate little 
short of two hundred and fifty thousand visits by the holders of 
season tickets and others. To attempt anything like a detail of 
this wonderful and interesting collection would be in vain. A 
few of the more remarkable can only be mentioned. Magnificent 
paintings, microscopes, and other optical instruments, English 
manufactures in porcelain, bronze, steel, and glass, a series of 
beautiful coats of mail, and a great variety of ornithological 
specimens by Mr. Hancock. Mr. Orde's racing trophies, by 
Beeswing, &c., &c. But the great centre of attraction was the 
New Music Hall, an immense room devoted to practical and 
experimental science and machinery. The centre of the hall was 
occupied by a large fountain and circular canal, in and by the sides 
of which swam shoals of gold and silver fishes, and worked mills, 
syphons, pumps, steamboats, locomotives, screws, diving bells, 
rams, air forcing, and water pumps, and indeed every imaginable 
appliance of pneumatic, acoustic, hydrostatic, and electric science. 
One one side of the fountain and canal stood a beautifully 
polished steam engine of four horse power, manufactured on 
improved principles by Messrs. Hawthorn of Newcastle, driving a 
power-loom for weaving merino, another for ribbon, and an iron 
planing machine. There were all kinds of mathematical, 
geographical, and astronomical apparatus, and the room rang with 
the ceaseless din and clatter of engines, machines, looms, and 
printing presses. This brilliant exhibition was finally closed by a 
soiree on September 2nd, when the receipts were found to have 
reached 4,458 15s. Id., and after the liquidation of the necessary 
expenses, left a sum for division of upwards of 1,500. 

A.D. 1840.] 



1840 (April U). Died, at Edinburgh, aged 38, H. J. W. 
Collingwood, esq., of Lilburn Tower, Northumberland, a seat 
which had been finished but a short period before, at an enormous 

Mr. A. Spoor, builder, having obtained the consent of the 
corporation of Newcastle for the removal of White Friar Tower 
and a portion of the town wall adjoining it on the south, in order 
to the formation of a new street, the first act of demolition took 
place early in April, by the breaking of a large hole in the wall 
immediately beneath the tower, for the purpose of obtaining a 
passage for carts, which has since formed the roadway of Hanover- 
street, extending from the brow of the hill, near Hanover-square, 
to the Skinner's-burn. 


April 28. The first steeple chase ever run in the county of 
Northumberland came off at Morpeth. The interest excited was 
very great. Four horses started, and the race was won by Mr. 
Lamplugh's Mischief. Norma was second, and Locksley and 
Donald Caird were not placed. 




1840 (May 7). The supervisor of the Morpeth district and the- 
ridin" officers of the Felton and Rothbury stations discovered an 
illicit still, most artfully constructed, in a sort of cavern at the 
foot of the Tosson Hills, near Rothbury. The distillery was 
capable of producing 100 gallons of spirit per week. 

May 13. Died, at Lemington, near Newcastle, aged 104 years, 
Mrs. Jane White. 

^ ay i4._The foundation-stone of a chapel of ease to the 
church of St. John, Newcastle, was laid, at Arthur's-hill, by the 
Rev. H, W. Wright, incumbent of St. John's. The chapel, which 
is dedicated to St. Paul, is 62 feet long inside and 40 feet wide, 
and has accommodation for 700 persons. 

May 19. Died, in Eldon-place, Newcastle, suddenly, of angina 
pectoris, aged 73, deeply regretted by a large circle of friends, Mr. 
Richard Farrington, one of the firm of " Richard Farrington and 
Brothers." He was a man of great attainments as a sculptor, 
modeller, and draughtsman, and had been engaged upon a monu- 
mental design, to the memory of his late brother, a few hours- 
before his death. 

May 22. Died, aged 58, Charles Newby Wawn, esq., of New- 
castle-upon-Ty ne. Mr. Wawn practised for many years the profession 
of a surgeon-dentist, and at one time spread the influence of his 
name as a most skilful and talented operator from York to- 
Edinburgh, and from the German Ocean to the Irish Sea. His 
manners were highly polished and refined, his intelligence varied 
and extensive, his benevolence unbounded, and his whole life 
regulated by the pure principles of religion. He cultivated music 
and the languages, and was extensively conversant with the Hebrew 
and its cognate tongues, with those of the two polite nations of 
antiquity, and with most of the languages and dialects of modern 
Europe. He wrote and spoke with great fluency. His style was 
rather ornate, distinguished by sweeping and accumulated epithet. 
Notwithstanding the extent of his practice, his labours in the 
cause of religion and humanity were untired and multitudinous. 
He published a series of well- written papers on colonial slavery, 
under the signature of " Eleutheros," which produced a consider- 
able impression upon the public mind. Mr. Wawn occasionally 
courted the muses, and some beautiful poetical effusions are the 
product of his pen. His writings, which are very numerous, are 
principally anonymous, and are scattered over the monthly and 
other periodicals of the time. Mr. Wawn died rather suddenly, at 
Tynemouth, to which village he had retired about two years 

May 25. During a fearful gale, the Ann and Elizabeth, of 
Sunderland, Captain Hall, took fire off the Girdleness. Fortu- 
nately, the Volunteer, of Charleston, Captain White, came up in 
time to take off the crew, as the ship was going down. 

June 1. As a workman was removing the pavement in Silver- 
street, Sunderland, the skeleton of a human being was discovered 
by some boys, a few inches below the surface. 

&.B. 1840.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 131 

1840 (June 2). As a fishing boat, having two men and a boy 
on board, was returning from crab and lobster fishing, she was 
struck by a sea when off Holy Island, and all hands perished. 

June 4. About half- past one o'clock this morning, the police 
of South Shields heard a crash of glass near the market- 
place, and, on proceeding to a house occupied by Mr. John Shotton, 
grocer, Mill-dam, they discovered the premises to be on fire. The 
family, on being aroused, made their escape, and by vigorous efforts 
the flames were subdued. 

June 12. One of the boilers at the Birtley Ironworks, 
about five miles distant from Newcastle, burst with a tremendous 
explosion. Twelve of the workmen were severely scalded, and 
one of them died from the effects of his injuries. The boiler 
(weighing no less than 50 cwt.) rose in the air, one portion of it 
being carried to the distance of 200, and the other 150 yards. 
Few of the houses of the village escaped injury from the explosion. 

June 12. Married, at Alnham Church, by the Rev. Gr. 
Wood, William, second son of Mr. Michael Thompson, long 
shepherd and topsman to Adam Atkinson, esq., of Lorbottle 
House, to Ann, third daughter of William Taylor, head shepherd 
to the late Mr. Crisp, of Prendick, and then holding the same 
situation under his nephew, Mr. H. Crisp. Mr. Crisp regaled the 
bridal party, consisting of upwards of twenty couples, to break- 
fast, and, after the ceremony, a keenly contested race for the 
" spurs" took place, from the church to the bridegroom's house, 
which was won, in grand style, by a lady, although matched against 
some of the most celebrated sportsmen of the county. 

June 16. A goods train, on the Stockton and Darlington 
Hailway, took fire, when near the former place, and a quantity of 
merchandise was destroyed. Teas, coffees, silks, flax, stationery, 
soap, charts, nutmegs, bibles, boxes of pills, &c., &c., were strewn 
in all directions. The loss was estimated at 1,000. 

June 18. A frightful accident occurred to the first class 
train from Stockton. A man, named Prest, was driving a laden 
wood waggon on the turnpike road, at a point where the railway 
crosses, near Darlington, just at the time when the train was 
coming up. The gates were closed when the man came 
up ; but, notwithstanding the engine was in sight, and the 
whistle was sounding, he persisted in passing through. The 
person in charge of the gate endeavoured to prevent him, but he 
got through and was partly across when the train came up, and 
a dreadful concussion took place. The three horses were killed, 
the waggon smashed to pieces, and the timber scattered in all 
directions. The waggoner, as well as the men on the engine, and 
the passengers, escaped uninjured. 

June 29. While an old man, servant of Mr. Collingwood, 
of Murton Farm, near North Shields, was in the act of taking a 
bull to its stall, it turned furiously upon him and mutilated him 
in a shocking manner, and such was the furious state of the bull 
as to bid defiance for some time to all attempts to secure it. 


1840 (June 29> At the sessions held at Durham this day, Robert 
Taylor, alias Lord Kennedy, described as aged 19, was tried and 
convicted on a charge of bigamy. Up to the period of his trial, 
six of his marriages had come to the knowledge of the police, and 
it was believed that the number was much larger. He was 
sentenced to two and a half years' imprisonment. 

June 29. The Newcastle Races Mr. Orde's Beeswing won 
the Craven Stakes, beating Col. Cookson's Dr. Oliver, after 
running a dead heat. The St. Leger was won by Col. Cradock's 
Gallipot. The Northumberland Plate was won by Col. Cradock's 
br c Provost. The Gold Cup was won by Lord John Scott's 
Lanercost, iMr. Orde's Beeswing second. The Marquis of Water- 
ford, one of the stewards, rode his horse, Redwing, for the 
Hunter's Stakes, which were won by Captain Richardson's 
Centurion. His lordship's patronage of the sports attracted a 
large number of strangers to the town, and contributed greatly to 
the prosperity of the meeting. 

June 30. Died, at his house, in Brandling- pi ace, Newcastle, 
aged 32, George Richardson, son of Mr. T. M. Richardson. The 
deceased was one of the most rising landscape painters of the day, 
and his untimely death deprived the town of one that was likely 
to become its most celebrated artist. He was buried in the 
Jesmond Cemetery. 

June. About the middle of this month, a workman con- 
nected with the St. Helen's Colliery, in the county of Durham, 
repaired to the bottom of the shaft for the purpose of being drawn 
up, not finding the rope at the bottom, he actually commenced 
ascending the conductors of the shaft, which is 390 feet in depth, 
and in a very short time gained the bank. The individual who 
performed this rash and daring act, was named Nixon, 'and, 
although of dwarfish stature, effected what probably not one man 
in a thousand would dare to attempt. 

July 1. The Queen was pleased to confer the honour of 
knighthood upon John Fife, esq., of Newcastle, as a mark of 
approbation of the manner in which he had sustained the office of 
chief magistrate during the Chartist agitation. 

.////// 2. A vessel called the Archimedes, arrived in the Tyne 
from Leith, and was the first vessel propelled by Mr. Francis S. 
Smith's new patent screw. Her novel appearance attracted great 
attention, being rigged as a three-masted schooner, with not a sail 
set, nor paddle-wheel cases, and yet she was winding her way 
steadily and with great speed, easily passing numerous craft in her 
course. The engines were of eighty horse power, and the average 
speed of the vessel was nine knots an hour. 

July 6. Died, at Great Malvern, Worcestershire, aged 58, 
the Right Rev. John Banks Jenkinson, D. D., Lord Bishop of St. 
Davids, and Dean of Durham. His lordship was son of Col. John 
Jenkinson, brother of the first Earl of Liverpool, and was appointed 
to the deanery of Durham in 1827. By his death the revenue of 
the deanery, which then amounted to 9,000 a year, was divided, 


3,000 a year being paid to the future dean, and the surplus to the 
Ecclesiastical Commissioners. 

1840 (July 8> Died, at Gateshead, aged GO, Mr. James Charlton, 
a gentleman who honourably and creditably discharged for a 
great number of years, the arduous duties of master of the 
Anchorage School, in Gateshead. The deceased, who had the 
merit of founding the Gateshead Dispensary, was the author^ of 
many elementary works of great ability. 

July 12. The Oliver, two-mast ship, captain John Lamke, 
from Bremen, laden with timber, entered the Don, a tributary of 
the Tyne, which embouches in Jarrow Slake, and was piloted up 
by Matthew Rutledge, of Howdon. On reaching the eastern 
boundary of Messrs. Hindhaugh and Co.'s quay and timber dock, 
she was drawn to her berth by the numerous spectators, amid 
much cheering. Some years ago, two vessels, the King and the 
Don, of about 300 tons burthen each, were built in this river, and 
consequently sailed down the Don ; but it is not on record that 
any vessel had sailed up the Don since the anchoring of King 
Egfrid's fleet in that river in the year 671. 

July 19. The Queen steamboat left Newcastle, on a pleasure 
trip to Warkworth, with a large number of persons on board. 
After spending a few hours amid the surrounding scenery, the 
party returned, at three o'clock, to take their passage home. 
Three boat loads were conveyed to the vessel in safety, but on 
going the fourth time, just as the boat reached the steamer, the 
latter gave a lurch, which overthrew one of the men, and in the 
attempt of others to save him from going overboard, the boat 
overturned. A most painful scene ensued, but eventually sixteen 
persons were rescued ; two others, William Keay and Sarah 
Rutherford, were drowned, 

July 21. One of those remarkable natural phenomena, a 
water spout, was observed about a mile south of Barnard Castle. 
The air seemed to be much charged with electricity, and the rain 
descended in torrents during the remainder of the day. 

July 28. Died, at- Cowes, Isle of Wight, aged 49, John 
George, Earl of Durham, Viscount Lambton, &c. From the 
hour of his lordship's arrival at Cowes, there appeared no hopes 
of his recovery, and he had been daily getting weaker, but his 
medical attendants considered he was not in immediate danger, 
and that the acute disease with which he was afflicted had been 
changed .into chronic. His lordship had not eaten anything for a 
week past, excepting a little fruit, and had only taken beef tea. 
His lady was his sole and constant attendant night and day, no 
one else even entered the room. On Tuesday morning, he was 
taken worse, and Mr. Day, of Cowes, was called in ; he immediately 
pronounced him dying that he could not live five hours. At ten 
minutes past nine his lordship expired. The noble earl succeeded 
to the family property when only five years of age, on the death 
of his father. Soon after attaining his majority, in 1813, he 
became a candidate for a seat in the House of Commons, a 


vacancy for his native county having been caused by the death of 
Sir H. V. Tempest, he was returned without opposition. From 
that until he was called to the House of Lords, he continued to 
represent the county. In 1820, Richard Wharton, esq., was 
brought forward in opposition to him, but, after an exciting 
contest, Mr. Lambton was returned by an overwhelming majority, 
the numbers being Lambton, 1,731; Powlett, 1,137; Wharton, 
874. Previous to this election, Sir Thomas H. Liddell (after- 
wards Lord Ravensworth) wrote to Mr. Lambton, strongly 
condemning his political sentiments. The letter concluded with 
the following: " Your conduct, both in parliament and in the 
county of Durham, appear to me so dangerous and likely to do 
such incalculable mischief, that, even were you my own brother, I 
should oppose you by all the means in my power." Mr. Lambton 
returned the following answer : 

Dear Sir Thomas, In answer to yours, I beg to say I feel gratitude for 
your frankness, compassion for your fears, little dread of your opposition, 
aud no want of your support. Yours truly, 


In 1821 he propounded a scheme of Parliamentary reform, by 
which the country was to be divided, for electoral purposes, into 
districts containing 25,000 inhabitants each, by whom one member 
was to be chosen. In 1828 he was elevated to the peerage as 
Baron Durham, and in 1833 was created a viscount and earl. 
Shortly after, he went on a special mission to St. Petersburgh, to 
attempt to alleviate the sufferings of the people of Poland. In 
1835 he was appointed ambassador to Russia. In 1838 he was 
sent to Canada as Lord High Commissioner, but he returned after 
a very short sojourn, not feeling satisfied with the support he 
received from the Government. His lordship married, first, on 
the 1st of January, 1812, Miss Harriet Cholmondeley, who died 
in 1815; and secondly, Lady Louisa Elizabeth Grey, eldest 
daughter of the Earl and Countess Grey. He had issue by his 
first marriage three daughters, all of whom are dead, and by his 
second five children, two sons and three daughters. His eldest son, 
Charles William, having died at the age of 13, his second son, 
George Frederick, succeeded to the family honours. The news of 
his death created a profound sensation^ and, on the arrival of his 
remains at Sunderland, on the 3rd of August, all business was 
suspended, and nearly every house exhibited some token of 
mourning. The 10th of August being fixed for the interment of 
his lordship's remains, a deep and melancholy interest was excited. 
At Chester-le-Street, Durham, Sunderland, and South Shields, the 
shops were entirely closed, and the bells of Newcastle and Gates- 
head tolled from eleven to three o'clock. The preparations at the 
castle for the sad event were on the most ample scale. Refresh- 
ments were set out in the grand saloon, and as the company 
entered through the great hall hatbands and gloves were presented 
to them. In the great dining room the remains of the noble earl 
lay in state. This apartment presented a most impressive appear- 


ance, and great numbers were admitted to view the solemn scene. 
The outer coffin was of the richest description, being formed of 
the finest Genoa crimson velvet, relieved with gold ornaments. 
At half-past two the procession was formed, 140 of the tenants 
and agents of the estate preceding the hearse and four mourning 
coaches, about 300 Freemasons and 175 carriages following the 
body. The procession was upwards of a mile in length. The 
pall bearers were the Marquis of Londonderry, Sir Hedworth 
Williamson, bart., C. W. Bigge, esq., H. T, M. Witham, esq., 
Lord Ravensworth, W. T. Salvin, esq., Dr. Headlara, and Colonel 
Tower. The funeral service was read by the Hon. and Rev. F. 
R. Grey, and made a deep impression on the assemblage. The 
earl made his will in September, 1837, previous to his leaving this 
country for Canada, bequeathing the whole of his property, of 
every description, to the Countess of Durham, leaving her, also, 
sole executrix, a striking proof of his affectionate esteem and 
confidence in her. 

1840 (July 29). The Wesleyan Methodist Conference commenced 
its sittings at Brunswick Place Chapel, Newcastle, on the morning 
of this day, being the 97th annual assembly of this body of 
ministers, and the first ever held in that town. The Rev. Robert 
Newton was elected president, and the Rev. Dr. Hannah secretary, 
after which the usual business connected with the conference was 
proceeded with. Two Ashantee princes were present during the 
proceedings, and excited much interest. The Rev. J. B. Freeman, 
a Wesleyan missionary at Cape Coast Castle, a man of colour, 
gave a deeply affecting account of a visit he had lately made to 
Coomasse, the capital of Ashantee, and a mission in that town 
was determined upon. During the sittings of the conference Mr. 
H. P. Parker, artist, of Newcastle, presented to that body his 
historical Wesleyan centenary picture, representing the rescue of 
the founder of Methodism, from the fire of the parsonage house at 

July. About this time the Heaton estate, long the property 
of Sir Matthew White Ridley, was purchased by Addison 
Langhorn Potter, esq , alderman of Newcastle. 

August 19. At a meeting of the Town Council of Newcastle, 
Mr. Alderman Donkin, on behalf of Admiral Thomas, presented 
to that body a lock of Lord Collingwood's hair, enclosed in the lid 
of a snuff-box made from the transom of the Royal Sovereign. 

August 24. The Queen was pleased to present the Rev. 
George Waddington, M.A., to the deanery of the cathedral 
church of Durham, void by the death of Dr. Jenkinson, late bishop 
of St. David's. On September the 23rd, Mr. Waddington received 
the degree of D.D. from the University of Durham, and on the 
25th, he was formally installed at the cathedral. On entering 
upon his office, the very rev. gentleman presented the widow of his 
predecessor with a sum of between 2,000. and 3,000., derived 
from new leases, on the ground that Dr. Jenkinson could have 
signed the documents before he died. 


Augmt 25. This day the New Quay, erected by the corpora- 
tion of Newcastle, in continuation of the old one, was opened by 
the mayor (John Carr, esq.), accompanied by the members of the 
borough, William Ord and John H. Hinde, esqs., the members of 
the council, the corporation of the Trinity House, the stewards of 
the incorporated companies, and a large body of the leading 
merchants of the town. The party walked in procession from the 
Guildhall to the termination of the works, at the North Shore. 
The length of the New Quay is about 1500 feet, being 45 feet 
more than the Old Quay, and the whole of these extensive works 
had been completed to their then state in about thirteen months, 
under the direction of W. D. Anderson, esq., engineer to the 

September 3. Two girls, aged 7 and 14, daughters of Thomas 
Wilson, of Stockton-on-Tees, were sent to a pond for water, 
and not returning in due time, their mother went in search of 
them. She found the pail, but could see nothing of the children. 
Shortly afterwards, a person passing, who had heard of the circum- 
stance, looked into the pond and perceived their dead bodies. 

September 29, As an engineman of Cramlington Colliery, 
named Patterson, was examining the safety valve of one of the 
boilers at that place, he felt a peculiar pricking sensation in the 
fingers. After several repetitions of the same sensation, he per- 
ceived that every time the feeling was accompanied by the issue 
of a spark from the metal. Mr. H. Lee Pattinson, a well-known 
practical chemist, having been made acquainted with the pheno- 
menon, examined the apparatus, and found that the whole boiler 
was an immense electrical machine. W. G. Armstrong, of 
Newcastle, the originator of the celebrated Armstrong Gun, 
obtained exactly similar results from experiments made upon a 
locomotive engine, and he subsequently constructed a " hydro- 
electric generator" in the form of a small boiler, by which extraor- 
dinarily powerful results were produced. 

September. This month, as two men, Edward Henderson and 
John Robson, were making a drain upon the farm of Mr. 
Forster Charlton, of Bog Hall, in the chapelry of Kirkheaton, 
Northumberland, the property of Calverly B. Bewicke, esq., they 
found, about two feet below the surface, under some large flat 
stones, the bones of a human body, which had been deposited in a 
large earthen jar. The remains must have lain a number of years, 
as the bones, on being exposed to the air, immediately mouldered 
into dust. 

September This month the old and highly-respectable banking 
house of Lambton and Co., Newcastle, withdrew their own notes 
from circulation, and thenceforth issued Bank of England paper. 

September. Near the end of this month a singular circumstance 
transpired in Sunderland. A man of the name of Thomas Burn, 
who was in a public house in that town, asked another person, 
whose name was Cadell, to drink with him. The latter, on 
recognizing the person who addressed him, exclaimed, " What, 

A..D, 1840.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 137 

drink with my brother's murderer?" Burn immediately threw the 
contents of the glass in CadelPs face, and would have escaped, had 
Cadell not readily obtained the help of a policeman, by whom he 
was apprehended, and conveyed to the town where themurder was 

1840 (October 1). A very large hay stack, belonging to Mr. 
Grahamsley, standing near the Sunderland Road End, Gateshead, 
was almost entirely destroyed by fire. The length of the stack 
was upwards of 36 yards, and it contained about 260 tons of hay. 

October 8. Married, Richard Hodgson, esq, f M.P. for Berwick, 
to Catherine, daughter and co-heiress of the late Anthony 
Compton, esq., of Carhatn Hall. 

October. Died, in London, aged 65, Colonel Sir Horace David 
Cholwell St. Paul, bart., of Ewart Park, near'Wooler, Northum- 
berland. The deceased was succeeded by his only son, Horace, 
M.P. for Worcestershire. The late baronet was the grandson of 
Horace St. Paul, esq., who was an officer of distinction in the 
service of Austria during the seven years' war, and was created a 
count of the Holy Roman Empire. 

October 13. A fancy and full dress ball, upon a scale of unusual 
magnitude and splendour, was given by the mayor of Newcastle 
(John Carr, esq ), at the Assembly Rooms, in that town. Up- 
wards of a thousand cards of invitation were issued, and the 
brilliant assembly was graced by the presence of nearly eight 
hundred ladies and gentlemen. The whole affair passed off in the 
most admirable manner. All appeared delighted with the amuse- 
ments of the evening, and all felt no less obliged to the worthy 
mayor and mayoress for having provided so splendid an entertain- 
ment. The fancy dresses were numerous and elegant, and upon 
the whole interesting. They embraced the costumes of France, 
Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Tyrol, Naples, Poland, 
Albania, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, Persia, China, Circassia, 
Arabia, Canada, and Africa. Nor were the Highlanders, brigand 
chiefs, courtiers, Robin Hoods, Huntsmen, Hamlets, old English 
gentlemen, &c., allowed to be forgotten. 

October 23. A fatal accident occurred at Farnacres Colliery, 
near Ravens worth. The banksman, shortly before one o'clock in the 
morning, hearing a loud noise in the pit, threw a stone down the 
shaft, and found that it fell amongst water. He then shouted, but 
received no answer, and in a few seconds the shaft, which is 20 
fathoms deep, was completely filled. The workmen, five in num- 
ber, perished in the mine. A steam engine, capable of pumping 
740 gallons in a minute, was immediately set to work, but it was 
nearly a month before the first body, William Wilkinson, was 
found, and the water was not got fairly under, and the other men 
found, until several months after the accident. The names of the 
unfortunate men were James Rankin, James Heslop, William 
Wetherby, and Andrew Evans. 

November 9. The following gentlemen were elected mayors and 
sheriffs : Newcastle, John Ridley, esq., mayor ; James Archbold, 



esq., sheriff ; Gateshead, William Hymers, esq., mayor ; Durham, 
John Bramwell, esq., mayor; Sunderland, Richard White, esq,, 
mayor ; Stockton, William Skinner, jun., esq., mayor ; Morpeth, 
Thomas Bowser, esq., mayor ; Berwick, George Johnston, esq., 
mayor ; Thomas Hogarth, esq., sheriff. 

1840 (November 13). Died, at Alnwick, aged 93, Mr. Thomas 
Bamburgh, blacksmith. He was deprived of a leg by the bursting 
of a cannon, fired on the Duke of Northumberland's birthday, in 
1785, and the Percy family liberally provided for him till his 

December 4. A traveller for a Newcastle house, lost his 
pocket-book, containing 300, between Hexham and Alston. He 
returned in the llp&e that it might be recovered. On the road he 
met a gentleman, named Baty, and enquired if he had seen the 
pocket-book ; Baty replied in the affirmative, and produced it with 
the money safe. 5 having been offered to him for the restoration, 
he enquired if the traveller were a principal in the firm, and on 
finding that he was not, he refused to accept the offered reward. 

December 14. An eagle was shot on the sands near Hadstone, 
by Samuel Taylor, gamekeeper to A. J. Baker Cresswell, esq., 
which measured, from tip to tip, eight feet, in height, three feet 
two inches. 

December 31. Died, at the Vicarage House, Newcastle, in 
his 72nd year, the Rev. John Dodd, for sixteen years vicar of that 
town. The interment of the deceased took place on the 6th of 
January, in St. Nicholas* Church, on which mournful occasion, 
every mark of respect was paid to departed worth by the clergy 
of the town and neighbourhood, as well as by the public at large. 



December. An event, displaying the extreme point to which 
certain impressions can be carried, took place within a few miles 
of Haydon Bridge. Ann Laing, housekeeper with Thomas 
Errington, an agent to the lessees of Stublick Colliery, retired to 


rest, nothing being perceived in her appearance, denoting that she 
was labouring under any mental infirmity. Errington awoke 
about two o'clock in the morning, by his housekeeper shaking him. 
violently, and telling him that she could not succeed in cutting her 
legs off with the axe, so that he must get up and take them off 
with the saw. On examination, it was found that the unfortunate 
woman had inflicted on one of her legs no fewer than thirteen 
cuts, the bone being splintered in several places. Her other leg 
was likewise severely injured. On enquiring into the cause of her 
so injuring herself, the only reason which she assigned was, that 
she could not enter heaven with her feet on. 

1840 (December), Died, this month, at Norton, near Stockton, 
aged 105, Mrs. Mary Wilkinson. 

1841 (January 18J. One of the heaviest disasters, that ever 
befel the shipping of the river Wear, occurred on the morning of 
this day. After a long continued frost, which had covered the 
upper part of the river with ice several inches thick, a sudden thaw 
took place, accompanied with heavy rain, and the ice having been 
broken up by the flood, was brought down the river with great 
impetuosity. As the front sheets came down they met with 
obstacles at every turn of the river, the pieces behind were driven 
either under or upon them, and thus huge unwieldy masses were 
cemented together, to the depth of several feet. At length the 
barrier of ice yielded to the increasing pressure of water, and the 
mingled torrent rushing down with irresistible force, tore away 
whole tiers of ships from their moorings at the Hetton and Lamb- 
ton Staiths, hurried them rapidly under the bridge, breaking their 
masts in the passage, and then dashing them against the vessels 
below, swept away tier after tier, and huddled them into a mass 
of wrecks, extending from one side of the river to the other. All 
who witnessed this scene of destruction, admit their utter inability 
to convey anything like an adequate idea of its terrors. The 
shouting of men, the shrieks of terrified sea boys, who had been 
aroused from their sleep by the noise of the ice rushing against the 
ships sides, the breaking of bowsprits, masts, and bulwarks and 
all in darkness formed a chaos of horror enough to appal the 
stoutest heart. When morning broke, it revealed such a picture 
of havoc as only such a night could have made. A number of 
ships had been carried out to sea, and were picked up by the 
pilots of Hartlepool and Seaham, others were sunk in the harbour, 
among which were the Newby, the Pilgrim, the Rosebud, the 
Kirton, the Seaflower, the Victoria, Les Deux Amis, the Caroline, 
four steam-tugs, and above thirty keels. The spectacle presented 
by the crowd of vessels, immediately above the more unfortunate 
craft just named, literally beggared all description. Scarcely a 
vessel in the harbour escaped without damage. So sudden and 
tremendous a blow to the very vitals of the commerce of the port, 
seemed almost to have stupified, for a while, those most deeply 
interested, but, rapidly arousing themselves from their temporary 
lethargy, the shipowners applied themselves rigorously to the rescue 


of their property, and, with the aid of steamboats, which had, luckily, 
taken shelter in the Wearmouth Docks, a passage was effected, 
and the ice went to sea. It could scarcely be expected that so 
frightful a destruction of property would occur without the loss 
of life. A boy belonging to the Richard, and a young man 
named Davison, belonging to the Newby, were drowned. The 
loss arising from the disaster was estimated at about 100,000. 

1841 (January 20). Died, at the Grove, near Durham, aged 78, 
Elizabeth, relict of Stephen George Kemble, esq. The deceased 
was the daughter of Mr. Satchell, and, in early life, was one of the 
first actresses of the day, her appearance in Newcastle being 
always hailed with great satisfaction by the audience. In almost 
every range of character she was eminently successful, she was 
allowed to be the best Ophelia on the stage, and she was equally 
excellent in Mrs. Haller, Portia, Nell, Beatrice, Cowslip, Cicely, 
Home-spun, &c. Her remains were interred on the 28th, by 
the side of her late husband, at the Nine Altars, in Durham 

January 24. Sunday afternoon, during a heavy squall of 
wind, then veering to the E., accompanied by a severe drifting 
fall of snow, the schooner Mariner, of Perth, which had sailed 
from the Tyne on Friday, the 22nd, made her appearance again 
at the bar, and, as is too frequently the case in such emergencies, 
to escape from the danger of Tynemouth rocks, she kept too far 
south and ran upon the Herd. The steamer Advance attempted 
to approach the schooner to render assistance ; the sea at this time 
was dashing half-mast high over the vessel, when a sea swept the 
decks of the sleamer, putting out her fire, and carrying two men 
overboard ; one was got back, but the other, George Goolock, was 
drowned : he attempted to swim to the schooner, and approached 
near to her, but there the crew had taken to the rigging, and no 
one could throw a rope to the perishing man, whose yells and cries 
in the agonies of death were audible to the crowds of spectators 
on both sides of the river, but his appeals were in vain : he 
evidently had been accustomed to swim, and buffeted for some 
minutes with the furious sea ; nature at last became helpless, his 
piercing cries became less audible, and he sunk to rise no more. 
Meantime this disaster was enacting, the South Shields life boat 
was speedily manned, and proceeded to the Herd ; the crew of 
the schooner were taken from the rigging, and soon after landed 
safe in the harbour. The schooner was afterwards got off the 
Herd, and brought into the harbour. 

January 29. A fire broke out this morning, in the naptha 
manufactory of Mr. Thoburn, at the Felling Shore, near Gates- 
head, and the building was soon almost entirely destroyed. 

February 6. A severe snow storm prevailed at this period, 
during which the rivers Wansbeck and Blyth were visited by 
flocks of aquatic birds. On the above day, at the High Pans, 
North Blyth, Mr. William Curry shot a swan, which was five feet 
long, and eight feet broad (from tip to tip of the wings). The 


length of the neck was about three feet, the weight of the bird 
about 281b. 

1841 (February 8). The body of Mr. John Wingate, of Newcastle, 
who had been missing for six weeks, was found in the Team, 
near Dunston. An inquest was held before Mr. Michael Hall, 
coroner, when, there being no evidence to show how he got into 
the water, the jury returned a verdict of " Found drowned.'* 
Previous to the body being found, a remarkable instance of the 
sagacity of a Newfoundland dog occurred. For two or three days 
before the body was found the animal had been observed running 
to and from the place to the ironworks, barking and howling each 
time, but no one was induced to follow it. At length it was 
supposed the dog was mad, and, in consequence, it was shot ; and 
in about an hour afterwards the body was discovered, when the 
cause of the poor animals excitement was made apparent. 

February 19. This morning, a fire broke out in the ship- 
building yard of Messrs. J. arid C. Alcock, at Sunderland, which 
raged with great fury for three hours. Several fire-engines were 
put into operation, and, there being a plentiful supply of water, 
the flames were at length extinguished, after doing damage to the 
amount of about 1,200. 

February 19. About half-past eleven o'clock this evening, 
a fire was discovered to be raging in the magnificent and princely 
family mansion of the Marquis of Londonderry, at Wynyard 
Park, in the county of Durham, and, nothwithstanding the utmost 
exertions of the servants, almost the whole building was consumed 
before the fire was subdued. It would be impossible to enumerate 
the immense quantity of valuable articles of furniture, &c., which 
fell a prey to the flames, but we may mention the several glass 
chandeliers, together with some immensely large mirrors, and 
beautiful stained glass windows, with numerous exquisite works 
of art, in statuary and paintings, amongst which, were portraits of 
Queen Anne, George III., and Queen Charlotte, and the whole of 
the Tempest family pictures, not any of which were saved. The 
conservatory contained a number of camelias, 15 feet high, and a 
fine specimen of the Norfolk Island pine, together with 25 orange 
trees, in full growth, formerly the property of the Empress 
Josephine, with a number of other rare and choice exotics, all 
of which were totally destroyed. The damage was estimated at 
150,000. The cause of the fire was never ascertained. The site 
of this mansion was formerly occupied by a hall, of the same 
name, which was the residence of the late Sir Henry Vane 
Tempest, the father of the then Marchioness of Londonderry. 
The building was commenced in 1822. The whole of the stone 
of this fabric was brought 26 miles, from a quarry on the family 
estate at Penshaw, Philip W. Wyatt, esq., architect. From the 
above it will be seen that the late hall had been upwards of 
nineteen years in building. At the time of this calamity, it was 
fast approaching towards completion, being expected to be finished 
in about another year. 


1841 (March 15;. As some men were repairing the shaft of 
Cowpen Colliery North Pit, a fall of a large mass of old materials 
from the sides took place, which, descending upon the cradle, in 
which the men were suspended, precipitated four of them to the 
bottom of the pit, killing them on the spot. Another man caught hold 
of some timber attached to the shaft, and escaped unhurt. The 
sufferers were Joseph Wright, aged 37, who left a wife and three 
children ; Francis Reay, who left a wife and five children ; James 
Reay, who left a wife and six children; Stephen Heron, unmarried; 
William Heron, the rescued pitman, was the brother of Stephen, 
and had a wife and young family. 

March. Died, in London, aged 29, Christopher Tate, sculptor, 
of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, much and deservedly respected. The 
deceased served his apprenticeship with Mr. Davies, marble 
mason, and afterwards became an assistant to Mr. D unbar, at that 
time residing in Newcastle. His talents as an artist were of a 
very superior character, and his first great effort was the royal 
arms, which grace the tympanum of the theatre in Grey-street. 
It is allowed to be a work of great merit, of which the people of 
Newcastle may always be proud as the production of a local artist. 
He likewise executed statues of " Blind Willie," the Duke of 
Northumberland, Mr. G. Straker, the Rev. J. Worsick, D. 
Urquhart,esq.,&c. For some time prior to his leaving Newcastle, he 
was engaged upon a full length portait of the Duke of Northum- 
berland, intended to be erected on the area in front of the Master 
Mariners' Asylum, at Tynemouth. The state of his health was 
such as to render it imperative on him to leave his work 
unfinished, in order to proceed to a warmer climate. He took his 
departure from his friends, never to return, and to those who knew 
him, nothing was left but the melancholy consolation to be derived 
from the remembrance of his distinguished talents and many 
amiable qualities. The statue of the duke was finished by Mr. R. 
G. Davies, 

Narch 25. During the night, a man named James Robinson, 
a joiner, who had been confined in the lock-up at Stockton, 
for examination on several charges of felony, pulled down the 
fire-place of the room where he was confined in, made a hole 
through the wall with one of the iron bars, and walked off without 

March. This month Mr. Benjamin Green, of the firm of 
Messrs. John and Benjamin Green, of Newcastle, received a vote 
of thanks from the Institution of Civil Engineers, in London, for 
a paper, accompanied by eight illustrative drawings, on arched 
timber viaducts, on the laminated principle, which Messrs. Green 
have so successfully employed in the stupendous viaducts of the 
Newcastle and North Shields Railway. 

March 30. That important national undertaking, the Great 
North of England Railway, was opened by the directors, the 
shareholders, and a limited party of friends, travelling the entire 
distance from Darlington to York, where they were received by 


the authorities of the North Midland Company, who had pro- 
vided an elegant luncheon for the party. In the afternoon, the 
trains returned to Darlington, where a dinner took place at the 
Queen's Head Inn, to celebrate the event of the day, G. H. 
Wilkinson and Thomas Meynell,esqrs., chairman and vice-chairman 
of the board of direction, presided in the like capacities at the 
table, and George Hudson, esq., and many of the directors of the 
North Midland Company, were among the guests. 

1841 (April). The Sunderland Herald records the following : 
On the first of April, 1835, the wife of Mr. George Ormston, grocer, 
High-street, in this town, gave birth to a daughter. Exactly two 
years after, on the first of April, 1837, she produced another 
daughter, and two years afterwards, viz., on the first of April, 
1839, she again presented her husband with a girl. The thing had 
now become so regular that on this occasion Mr. Ormston informed 
some friends, who had met to drink the good lady's health, that if 
they would call on him that day two years they should have a 
similar pleasure. This promise came to the lady's ears, and, in 
order that her lord and master should not look like " an April 
fool," she obligingly gave birth to another daughter on Thursday, 
the first of April, 1841. 

April 8. A distressing and mournful suicide was committed 
at Trewhitt North Moor, near Rothbury, Northumberland, by 
Mr. Henry Boag, relieving officer to the Board of Guardians of 
the Rothbury Poor Law Union. From the evidence given at the 
inquest held on the body, before Thomas Adams Russell, esq., it 
appeared that some circumstances which had occurred in connection 
with the situation of the deceased had preyed upon his mind, and 
threats which had been used, that he would be watched, and, if 
possible, punished, produced such an impression on him, that on 
the night of Tuesday, the 6th, after a stormy meeting of the Board, 
he had never slept, but wandered about his room in great distress. 
The next day he had gone to Elsdon, in the performance of his 
duties, when he saw the Archdeacon of Northumberland, of whose 
kind feelings he afterwards expressed himself very warmly. On 
his return from thence he wrote a long letter to the clerk of the 
Union, from which the following are extracts : 

My dear Sir, I do not see how I can get out of this business. The rector 
and Charlton will appear against me. Mr. Pye owns with having got the 
money up to the 25th of December, 1839, and it seems that I have carried 
the sum on in my books for three quarters more. 1 declare to my Maker 
that I was not conscious of it. The way we keep the books one can never 
see how the money stands. I declare I am innocent The only thing I 
regret is in leaving my poor little children. Give my regards to Sir John 
Walsham, Mr. Orde, and all my friends. I am sure Sir John and Mr. Orde 
would do me justice. My eldest daughter is 18 years of age, and, therefore, 
can do for herself ; the boy about 13 years; the next girl goes to her aunt, 
where she will be well off ; the next is a little darling, clever boy, about 
six years old ; the next about three years, but, poor little fellow, he is not 
right in his mind ; the youngest is one and a half years. I hope some of my 
friends will assist them. You have been one of the best friends I ever met 
with. I regret leaving William Forster and his brother, and many, many 


dear friends. I am writing in as good spirits as ever I did in my life. I am 
perfectly reconciled to my fate. I have paid Chavlton, of Tod Hill, 2 2s. 
too much. You will find the accounts right to the 25th of March. I would 
not, on any account, have the rector or Thompson, the curate, to bury me. 
I do not care where I am buried. I am perfectly happy, and trust, prepared 

to die. 

I am, mv dear Mr. Woodman, very sincerely yours, 


After entering his own death in the register book, he left his 
house on horseback, about two in the afternoon, and was seen to 
look earnestly back towards it. He left his house at Warton, 
went to two or three places, till about six in the evening, when he 
had gone to a hovel upon Low Trewhitt estate, which was 
formerly his own property, and from whence he could look down 
upon the house where he had spent the greatest part of his life. 
He then swallowed an ounce of laudanum, after which he wrote 
in pencil, the following, upon the back of a letter : " I have 
taken about a wine glass of laudanum, at the shed on Trewhitt 
North Moor. God bless you all, except the rector and George 
Selby Thompson. It is getting nearly dark. I die at peace with 
all mankind, except the above. God bless you all ; good night." 
He had afterwards strangled himself with a rope fastened to the 
lintel. The jury found a verdict of " Temporary insanity." The 
remains of Mr. Boag were interred at Alnwick Church, and were 
accompanied to their last resting place by a great number of the 
Guardians of the Union, and his other friends, who voluntarily 
attended to testify the respect they entertained for him. who, 
while living, alike in his prosperous days as in adversity, had 
gained the good opinion of all who knew him. 

1841 (April 15.) -*A melancholy case of stabbing occurred in 
Newcastle, which terminated fatally. The person whose life was 
thus suddenly cut short was John Donkin, aged nineteen, an 
apprentice with Mr. Henry Robson, shoemaker, Eldon-lane, 
Percy-street. On the forenoon of the above day, the deceased was 
at work in his master's shop, where three other workmen were 
employed, namely, Henry Stokoe, Thomas Heppel, and William 
Cattermole. There were also three strangers in the shop, named 
Robert Oxley, Fenwick Chambers, and a man named Cruddace. 
William Cattermole was a person of weak intellect, and was often, 
made the object of " fun" by his fellow workmen. A little before 
noon the deceased snatched off Cattermole's cap and tossed it 
across the room, when Cattermole quickly seized a knife and 
stabbed Duncan in the thick part of the thigh. Mr. Turner 
attended to Donkin's wound, and he appeared to be doing well till 
the 18th, when mortification took place, and he expired on the 
19th, Cattermole was tried at the Newcastle Summer Assizes, 
found guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to one months' im- 
prisonment, with hard labour. 

April 17. Two splendid windows of stained glass, executed 
by Mr. Wailes, of Newcastle, were placed in the parish church 
of All Saints' in that town, The principal figures were St. Peter 


and St. Paul, which were surrounded by twenty-four coats of arms 
of the subscribers to this improvement. 

1841 (April 19J. A melancholy explosion occurred atWillington 
Colliery, the property of Matthew Bell, esq., M,P., by which 
thirty-two poor fellows were suddenly hurried out of existence, 
whilst only three, out of thirty-five who were down the pit at the 
time, were saved. The first intimation of danger was a tremendous 
noise, accompanied by a dense cloud of smoke issuing from the 
shaft mouth, and a violent shock in the neighbourhood, resembling 
what might be supposed to proceed from an earthquake. This 
noise was heard at a great distance, and in every direction, 
spreading dismay and terror amongst the friends and relatives of 
those who were employed in the pit. The remains of the 
sufferers were recovered two or three days after, many of them 
being very much burnt and mutilated. The cause of the calamity 
was attributed to the neglect of a poor little boy, a trapper, who 
left the trap-door in the north headway, to which it was his duty 
to attend, to play with two other boys close by. 

May 10. A grand military review took place on the Town- 
moor, Newcastle. The 98th regiment of foot, commanded by 
Colonel Campbell, were presented with new colours by General 
Sir Charles Napier. The gallant general addressed the regiment 
at some length, and concluded with these words, " Colonel Camp- 
bell, use your colours, and stand by them." In the evening, the 
officers of the regiment gave a grand ball and supper in the 
Assembly Rooms, to 250 ladies and gentlemen. 

May 17. As some workmen were employed in a quarry on the 
Kirkharle estate, Northumberland, they discovered a worm 
embedded in the solid freestone. After exposing it to the air for 
three or four minutes it died. 

May 18. Sir Jacob Astley, of Melton Constable, Norfolk, and 
of Seaton Delaval, in the county of Northumberland, bart., was 
summoned to the House of Peers, as Baron Hastings, he being 
one of the heirs of Sir John de Hastings, summoned to parliament 
by the above title, in the 18th year of the reign of King Edward 
the first. On the 2nd of June, his lordship's tenantry at Seaton 
Delaval, celebrated the event by a dinner at Mr. Reay's, the 
Queen's Arms, Seaton Sluice. 

May 23. Died, at Sandhoe House, Northumberland, aged 77, 
Edward Charlton, esq., a gentleman, whose hospitality and 
generosity were almost proverbial. His funeral took place on 
the 31st, at the Catholic Cemetery, Hexham, when the shops, &c., 
were closed as a token of respect and regret. 

May 29. A sad accident occurred at Derwent Crook Colliery, 
near G-ateshead, the property of Lord Ravensworth and Partners. 
Between four and five o'clock in the afternoon, the men connected 
with the works were sitting in the engine-house, taking their 
" allowance," when they became suddenly aware that the boiler 
was exploding. They had but a moment for flight. The body of 
the boiler, weighing about four tons, became separated from the 



bottom, and was lifted entirely over the engine-house alighting 
on the opposite side. Mr. Michael Almond, engineer to the 
colliery, was caught by a large detached portion of the bottom 
plate, which severed his arm from his body, tore the flesh from 
his side, and took off one of his legs. He expired in a few 
moments. Ten of the workmen were severely scalded, three of 
them afterwards died from the injuries they received. 

1841 (May 31). Died, at Morpeth, aged 103, Mrs. Jane Stoney. 

j um 7. Andrew Hudson, of Little Bavington, while working 
in a limestone quarry at Cocklaw Walls, in the parish of 
Thockrington, Northumberland, found the bones of two human 
bodies amongst a quantity of loose stones. The bones were col- 
lected and deposited in Kirkheaton Churchyard. 

j une 7. The following are the returns made by the enumera- 
tors of the population of Neweastle-upon-Tyne : District of 
St. Nicholas, including part of the parish of St. John : 2,957 
inhabited houses, 111 uninhabited, 52 building: Population 
males, 7,558; females, 7,503; total, 15,061. District of All 
Saints, comprising the whole of Pilgrim, Pandon, and Quayside 
wards, and that part of Sandgate ward which lies west of the 
Ouseburn: 4,479 inhabited houses, 328 uninhabited, 50 building: 
Population males, 9,203, females, 9,779 ; total, 18,982. District 
of St. Andrew, which comprises about five-sixths of the parish : 
2,655 inhabited houses, 93 uninhabited, 24 building : Population 
males, 6,102, females, 7,222 ; total, 13,324. District of Westgate, 
which includes Elswick, Benwell, and Fenham : 2,863 inhabited 
houses, 183 uninhabited, 103 building : Population males, 6,627, 
females, 7,158 ; total, 13,785. Byker district, including Byker, 
Jesmond, Heaton, and that part of the parish of All Saints east of 
the Ouseburn: 2,381 inhabited houses, 157 uninhabited, 22 building. 
Population males, 5,276, females, 5,413 ; total, 10,689. Grand 
total 15,345 inhabited houses, 872 uninhabited, 251 building : 
Population 71,841. Increase over the census of 1831 16,850. 

The borough of Gateshead, according to the new census, contained 
19,000 inhabitants, being an increase of about 4,000 over 1831. 

June 7. On the evening of this day, the inhabitants of 
Sandgate, Newcastle, witnessed such a scene of riot and outrage as 
had not been exhibited there for several years. A number of the 
men belonging to the 87th regiment, stationed at the Barracks, 
were drinking at several public houses in Sandgate, and, early in 
the afternoon, were attracting the attention of the inhabitants and 
of the policeman on duty. No open rupture, however, took place, 
until somewhere about eight o'clock, when Mrs. M'Gallon, the 
hostess of the Green Tree, where there were three soldiers drink- 
ing, found her company getting so uproarious, that, to save her 
articles from being broken, she called on the police to clear the 
house. One soldier who was lying drunk on the floor, was lifted 
up and assisted into the street, with a view of setting him on his 
way home. The soldier being seen thus accompanied, gave rise to 
an idea that he was in custody, and some person called out that 

A.D. 1841.] 



they were taking a soldier to the station house, when five of the 
corps, who had been drinking in the same public house, rushed out 
and insisted upon having their comrade, the policemen wishing to 
have the man out of the street, refused, when one or two of them 
were knocked down, and the others took out their batons and 
defended themselves as well as they could. The soldiers struck 
resolutely both with their fists and their canes, the populace, now 
greatly excited, took part with the soldiers, and a regular riot 
ensued. At one time at least 5,000 people were assembled, and it 
was with great difficulty the disturbance was quelled. In conse- 
quence of the behaviour of the soldiers, the regiment was shortly 
after ordered to proceed to Hull. 


1841 (June 8). A trout was caught with the rod in the Coquet, 
near Rothbury, by Mr. W. G. Armstrong, of Newcastle, which 
measured 23| inches in length and 12| in girth, and weighed 
4 Ib. 7 ozs. He was taken in fair angling, in the middle of the 
day, and in a state of the water unusually low and clear. The 
exhibition of such a trout created no little sensation in Rothbury. 

June 15. A fire broke out this morning, in Mr. R. Harrison's 
skin-yard, Stepney-bank, Newcastle, and, so rapidly did the flames 
extend, that, notwithstanding every exertion, the whole of the 
premises were consumed. 


1841. In the early part of this year was discovered amongst 
the ancient records of the city of London, at the Guildhall, a con- 
tract between King Charles I. and the members of his privy council 
on the one hand, and the city of London on the other, by which 
the monarch seems to have made over to the corporation of London 
certain large tracts of land within the bishopric of Durham, by 
way of mortgage, as security for loans of certain sums of money, 
amounting in all to 300,000 of the money of that day. That the 
lands so mortgaged must have been bishop's lands is manifest 
enough, inasmuch as the crown neither had, nor could have, lands 
of its own within the bishopric which it could so pledge, under any 
colour of law, unless it were some of the forfeited manors of which, 
after the Reformation, the crown deprived the prince bishop, who 
claimed them as palatine. This document is quite perfect and 
bears not only the signature of the king, together with the royal 
seal, but also the signatures and seals of the Duke of Buckingham 
and other members of the privy council of that period. It appears 
that, the king never being able to repay this loan, these lands were 
afterwards sold by the corporation of the city of London, and form 
now portions of the estates (leasehold or freehold) of some of the 
great proprietors of coal in the county of Durham. The corpora- 
tion of London at that time could not, of course, have the most 
remote idea of the mineral wealth that lay under the surface of 
these apparently poor lands, which, in modern times, would 
probably in a single year have paid off the whole of the royal 

June 21. The Newcastle Races commenced. The Craven 
Stakes were won by Lord Zetland's Charles the XII., beating Mr. 
Orde's Beeswing by half a head. 22nd The St. Leger Stakes 
were won by Mr. Bell's gr g The Squire (Heseltine). 23rd 
The Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. St. Paul's b f Calypso 
(Templeman). 24th The Gold Cup was won by Mr. Orde's 
Beeswing (Cartwright) ; Calypso, 2nd; Lanercost, 3rd. This was 
the 18th cup which this wonderful mare had won and the 41st 
prize. The north country friends of the mare sacked large stakes 
on the occasion. 

June. Parliament having been dissolved on the 23rd of June, 
writs for the new elections were issued, and the proceedings in 
Durham and Northumberland were as follows : 

Newcastle Mr. J. Cookson, jun., proposed, and Mr. S. Parker 
seconded, John Hodgson Hinde, esq. ; Mr. Alderman Potter 
nominated, and Mr. E. Charnley seconded, William Ord, esq. ; Mr. 
Atkins proposed, and Mr. Edgar seconded, James Bronterre 
O'Brien (Chartist), the last named gentleman, however, withdrew 
from the contest, and Messrs. Ord and Hinde were re-elected. 

Gateshead William Hutt esq., was returned without opposition. 

South Shields The nomination of candidates took place on the 
29th, before Mr. R. Anderson, the returning officer. Mr. Wawn 
polled 240; Mr. Ingham, 207; Mr. Fyler, 34. 


Durham City Mr. Granger and Capt. Fitzroy were elected 
without opposition. 

Morpeth The Hon. Captain Howard was again elected. 

Berwick, June 29. The poll resulted as follows: Mr. Forster, 
394 ; Mr. Hodgson, 343 ; Mr. Weeding, 335. 

Sunderland, June 30. Messrs. Barclay and Thompson were 
declared elected. 

Tynemouth, July 1. Mr. Mitcalfe, 295 ; Mr. Chapman, 218. 

South Northumberland, July 5. Matthew Bell, esq., and Saville 
C. H. Ogle, esq., were returned without opposition. 

North Northumberland The poll, which took place on the 
9th and 10th, was as follows: Lord Ossulston, 1,216; Mr. 
Cresswell, 1,163 ; Viscount Hovvick, 1,101. 

South Durham The nomination took place at Darlington, on 
the 6th of July, before William Russell, esq., high sheriff, and, at 
the close of the poll on the 10th, the numbers were Lord H. 
Vane, 2,547; Mr. Bowes, 2,483 ; Mr. Farrer, 1,739. 

North Durham, July 7. Hedworth Lambton, esq., and the 
Hon. H. T. Liddell, were elected without opposition. 

1841 (July 1Q). In consequence of the great number of work- 
men who were out of employment, a meeting of the inhabitants of 
Newcastle, was held in the Guildhall, where it was decided to 
place in the hands of the Town Improvement Committee, the sum 
of 500, to be expended in the construction of such works, as the 
committee should deem most useful. About 500 men were 
immediately set to work, and various improvements were effected 
by them, particularly at the Cattle Market, Neville- street, and 
Stepney-bank, and in the drainage of the Town Moor, each man 
receiving 12d. and a roll daily. By the end of October, the 
demand for employment had diminished, the treasurer, Mr. Robert 
Robinson, notified a balance of a little more than 12 remaining 
in his hands, after having expended 431 10s. 7d., in 8,411 days 
work, 7,325 penny rolls of bread, shovels, hacks, spades, and 
other necessary expenses. 

July 19. A violent thunder-storm visited Sunderland and 
the neighbourhood, doing considerable damage. A portion of 
a potatoe field, near Deptford, the property of Mr. Gordon 
Black, was completely ploughed up by the lightning. During 
the storm, the steamer Sun, of Newcastle (with upwards of 200 
persons on board, who were on an excursion of pleasure), was 
proceeding up the river Wear, near Hylton, about four miles 
above Sunderland, when she struck upon an anchor, and. received 
such damage, that she filled with water and sunk. A keel took 
the passengers on shore in safety. 

July 25. While some boys were bathing at the Short 
Sands, on the north side of Tynemouth Castle, two of them, named 
Logan and Inness, were taken out of their depth by a receding 
sea, and would have inevitably been drowned, but for the timely 
assistance of Mr. Charlton, Mr. Gare, Mr. Edward Wilkinson, 
Mr. John Blakey, and other persons from Newcastle, who, 


plunging into the sea, succeeded in saving them. They were 
taken to the warm baths and restored to life after much difficulty. 

1841 (July). For manyyears past the state of the Abbey Church, 
at Hexham, has been a subject of reproach to the inhabitants 
of the town, and a matter of regret to contemporaneous writers, who 
did not hesitate to point out and denounce the bad taste which 
could allow this noble building to be deformed by masses of 
rubbish, and behold its sacred precincts appropriated to the vilest 
purposes, without an effort to rescue it from such degradation. 
During this month, two of the houses, which had so long encum- 
bered and disgraced the eastern front of the Abbey Church, were 
being taken down for the purpose of being reconstructed in an 
improved style, when it was discovered that the back of the erection 
had been built against the " Ladye Chapel," and five elegant 
perpendicular windows were discovered. No sooner were the 
beautiful architectural features of the building discovered, than 
the interest of the well-informed inhabitants was irrepressibly 
excited, and a desire became prevalent to procure the permanent 
non-occupancy of the sites, and, if possible, to effect the repair of 
a structure so long hidden from view so long appropriated to the 
vilest of uses. A meeting was convened by the secretary, Joseph 
Crawford, esq,, and held in the Moot Hall on the third of August, 
Edward Glynn, esq., deputy-bailiff, being in the chair, when 
preliminary steps were taken to purchase the adjoining property. 
In a few months 1,500 was raised by subscription, and a further 
portion of the old houses was removed, but it was not until August, 
1856, that the whole of the property was secured. 

August 5. A melancholy and dreadful explosion took place 
at Thornley Colliery, Durham, belonging to Sir W. Chaytor 
and Partners, by which one man and eight boys lost their lives. 
The accident was clearly traced to the negligence of one of the 
boys, who had inadvertently left open a trap-door. Upwards of 
forty men were at work in another part of the pit, but they 
escaped unhurt. 

August 5. Messrs. Bolckow and Vaughan, of Middles- 
borough, brought their new iron works into partial operation. 
About 2 o'clock a lump of iron, in a state of fusion, was conveyed 
on a proper carriage to the " squeezer," where it was kneaded 
(as a gentleman observed), like an old woman working a loaf. 
This squeezer is of great power and weight upwards of 20 tons. 
Its shape and action may be compared to the head of a huge 
crocodile, and some one had humorously chalked an eye on each 
side, and a row of large teeth on the jaw, which gave it the appear- 
ance of a mighty monster chewing red-hot iron. After the mass 
had undergone this process, it was quickly conveyed to the rollers, 
when Mr. Vaughan seized it, with a proper pair of pincers, and 
passed it through the rollers, amidst the loud and long continued 
hurrahs of the workmen and the company present. The different 
departments are so arranged that the huge masses of wrought iron 
can be moved from one part to the other for the necessary opera- 


tions, and finally shipped at the door, with the greatest facility 
and economy of labour. 

1841 (August 9). As three Middlesbro' gentlemen, Messrs. 
Garbutt, Thomson, and Lunn, were sailing up the river Tees, the 
boat unfortunately upset. They succeeded for some time in 
holding by the mast, two of them attempted to reach the shore by 
swimming, Mr. John Garbutt and Mr. James Thomson, and, after 
struggling for a short time, both disappeared. Mr. Lunn, the 
gentleman saved, was picked up by the Eliza steam-tug, after 
clinging to the mast for an hour and a half The sufferers being 
so well known, the accident spread the greatest gloom in the 

August 10. Died, at the West Wall Cottages, aged 77, Mr. 
George Brown, schoolmaster, a well-known teacher of navigation, 
and author of the Tide Table, published in his name for many 
years, by Messrs. Mitchell, proprietors of the Tyne Mercury 

August 11. This morning, as a man, named Bell, was 
passing along the Quayside, Newcastle, he discovered the body of 
an unfortunate woman, named Jane Anderson, lying in Blue 
Anchor-chare. Life was quite extinct, and it was evident that 
the woman had come to a violent death. The mystery was never 

August 12, Great rejoicings took place among the colliers 
of Murton, near Dalton-le-Dale, by whose exertions and zeal, 
guided by the indomitable perseverance and undoubted ability 
and energy of Mr. Edward Potter, the viewer and engineer, the 
South Hetton Coal Company had conquered difficulties considered 
insuperable, and succeeded in sinking through the sand at their 
extensive winning of Murton. Of all the mining operations which 
have engaged the patience and funds of the capitalist the ability 
of the engineer or harrassed and disappointed every exertion in 
order to the overcoming of difficulties apparently wholly insur- 
mountable, perhaps we may not be wrong in stating it to be the 
most remarkable on record. It was in the autumn of 1838 that 
the sinking of five pits was commenced, and immediately there 
sprung into existence a host of smoky buildings, lofty chimneys, 
and mighty engines groaning and hissing in their ceaseless labours. 
A busy crowd of swarthy miners hurrying to and fro, all ready 
to obey the master hand, and to undergo any exercise of their 
peculiar vocation calculated to advance the marvellous work. 
Shrouded in an atmosphere perturbed and dark, and filled with 
noisome stench, day and night, laboured the mechanical powers, 
and, certainly not in a less degree, the sturdy miners. The operations 
went on satisfactorily until June, 1839, when a " feeder" of water 
burst out with extraordinary violence. So prodigious was the 
force of the eruption, that the limestone, four feet in thickness, 
which intervened between the bottom of the shaft and a stratum, 
of sand, was completely forced up, and the quicksand instantly 
rose to the height of fifteen fathoms in one of the pits. It soon 


became apparent that unusual exertions would be required to over- 
come the water, which was discharged from the quicksand in 
enormous quantities. In June, 1840, the pumping power at work 
was equal to 1,500 horses, and the quantity of water delivered at 
the surface amounted to 11,000 gallons per minute, which created 
for itself a channel, where water had never run before. Thirty- 
four large boilers, consuming one hundred tons of coal daily, were 
employed to furnish the necessary power; and, owing to the 
effect of the sand upon the pump buckets, it was stated that the 
leather required for them cost for some time l 1 5s., hour by hour ; 
and three tan-yards but served to supply the requisite quantity of 
leather. April 17, 1843, the proprietors succeeded in reaching 
the Hutton seam, at a depth of 248 fathoms, and the cost of sinking, 
up to that date, was estimated at upwards of a quarter of a million 

1841 (August 19). Died, at Villa-place, Newcastle, Sarah Dick- 
enson, aged 88. She was born on Gateshead Low Fell, where she 
lived till within a very few years of her death. Her mother (Sarah 
Fen wick) and herself were " doctr esses'* there for nearly one 
hundred years ; and, during that time, they nursed upwards of one 
hundred children, principally from Newcastle. Sarah Fenwick 
died upwards of 90 years of age ; and her daughter, Dorothy 
Wilson, also died at a very advanced age. They were all 
respectable in their several situations of life, and rendered great 
benefit to a poor laborious population for many miles around. 

August 31. The Bishop of Durham consecrated the church 
of St. Paul, Arthur's-hill, Newcastle. His lordship also visited 
the Infirmary, in his capacity of Grand Visitor, and was received 
in the governors' hall by the medical officers and P. G. Ellison, 
J. L. Loraine, Emerson Charnley, George Brumell, Hedley Vicars, 
George Clementson, and John Bulman, esqrs., members of the 
House Committee. His lordship minutely inspected the wards, 
and made a highly eulogistic entry in the visitors' book as to the 
manner in which the institution was conducted. 

September 3. At Charente, in France, a man fell into the 
river there, and must have been drowned, but for the prompt 
assistance of Mr. John Wardropper, of Sunderland, captain of the 
Marquis of Bute, who sprang overboard, and, at the imminent risk 
of his own life, after a severe struggle, ultimately succeeded in 
restoring the poor fellow to his friends. This was the third person 
who owed his preservation to the bravery of Captain Wardropper, 
exclusive of his rescuing the crew of a French vessel from 

September 15. Sunderland was the scene of a contested 
election, consequent upon the resignation of Mr. Alderman. 
Thomson (who became a member for Westmoreland to the intense 
disgust and indignation of his former constituents). The can- 
didates were Viscount Howick and Mr. Wolverly Attwood. On 
the above day the nomination took place, on hustings erected in 
front of the exchange, The 16th was the polling day, and, on the 


morning of the 17th, the mayor, R. White, esq., made an official 
declaration of the poll from the hustings, the numbers being for 
Lord Howick, 705, Mr. Attwood, 463. After the company had 
left the hustings, Lord Howick's chairing procession was formed, 
when his lordship, seated in an open carriage, drawn by four 
horses, with music, flags, and a very large assemblage of friends, 
proceeded through the principal streets of Sunderland. On 
arriving at the Reform Tavern, Monkwearmouth, the scene was 
quickly changed into one of dangerous riot and confusion. Stones 
were thrown from the house, as large as half bricks, one of which 
struck Lord Howick, and this having exasperated the crowd 
accompanying him, they returned the attack, and broke some of 
the windows of the premises. The landlord, Mr. Edward Liddle, 
became much excited on observing the damage, and snatching up 
a fowling-piece, he presented it out of the window and pulled the 
trigger, but the gun fortunately missed fire. The house, in conse- 
quence of this rash proceeding, was almost completely gutted by 
the mob, and some injury was also done to the Bridge Inn and 
other taverns. On this serious disturbance taking place, Lord 
Howick was driven to Whitburn, the seat of Sir Hedworth 
Williamson, and endeavours were made to prevent mischief, but 
it was some time before hostilities ceased. Liddle was afterwards 
fined five pounds for his breach of the peace. 

1841 (September 16). A melancholy catastrophe occurred at Long 
Newton, near Darlington. A bull, which had lately become 
unruly, was placed in a stable and chained to the manger, his 
horns also fastened thereto with a rope, by the son-in-law of Mr. 
William Stonehouse, of the above place, farmer. The latter 
person on going into the stable, and observing the bull tied by the 
horns, set to work to unloose the rope, not perceiving that the 
animal had got rid of the chain by having torn it from his nostrils. 
The bull, on finding himself at liberty, immediately attacked its 
defenceless owner, and, throwing him down, gored him in the most 
frightful manner. The son-in-law, hearing the cries of his father, 
flew to his assistance, and succeeded, in the most miraculous 
manner, in securing the animal, but too late to save his parent's 
life, as Mr. Stonehouse expired shortly after the unfortunate 

September 17. Died, at Lee Moor, near Alnwick, aged 69, Mr. 
Straughan ; on the 18th, aged 26, Miss Shanks, his niece ; and on. 
the 19th, Mrs. Straughan, his wife, all greatly respected, and all 
in one house. 

September 21. Sir Matthew White Ridley, bart., of Blagdon, 
Northumberland, was married at Ampthill Church, Bedfordshire, 
to Cecilia Anne, eldest daughter of the Right Hon. Baron Parke. 
September 23. The Northumberland Agricultural Society held 
its sixth anniversary for the show of stock, implements of hus- 
bandry, seeds, plants, dec., in the Bull Park, at the north entrance 
to Newcastle, when the attendance was very numerous. The band 
of the 61st regiment was in attendance, and played several fine 



airs during the day. There was a first-rate show of horses, both 
in quantity and quality. Two grey ponies, the property of Mr. 
Atkinson, coachmaker, were much admired, as were a brown colt, 
the property of Mr. Lee, of Stockstield, and a grey colt, the pro- 
perty of the Rev. Mr. Robson, of Ponteland. A brood mare, sent 
by Mr. G. H. Ramsay, of Derwent Villa, attracted much notice. 
Amongst the short-horned cattle there was a number of beautiful 
animafs. Amongst the bulls, Mr. W. Ord, M.P., had a very fine 
one ; Mr. Angus, of Bromley ; Mr. Ridley, of Arbour House ; 
Mr. Scott, of Cambois ; and Mr, Crofton, of Holywell, each 
exhibited beautiful animals, Mr. C. H. Bainbridge, of Lumley 
Park, sent a cow which had already taken three prizes ; and 
amongst the steers and heifers there were some superior animals 
shown by Mr. Swan and Mr. Brown, of Newcastle ; Mr. Stobart, 
of Epperley, and others. The show of sheep and pigs was 
extremely good, there being a number of first-rate animals exhibited. 
There was a large collection of agricultural implements, and several 
of them showed great skill in their formation. The varieties of 
turnips, potatoes, carrots, onions, &c., were in great profusion. 
Altogether the exhibition gave the utmost satisfaction. 

1841 (September 29). While the wind was blowing hard from the 
south-west, Joseph Hutchinson, a ship carpenter, was coming 
down the river Wear, in a boat laden with sandstone, and had on 
board his son and daughter, who had been assisting him to load 
the frail bark. Between Claxheugh and Pallion Quay, the boat 
struck with violence against a raft of timber, and almost instantly 
sunk. Their situation was observed from the shore, but before 
assistance could be afforded they all perished. 

September 30. The Highland Agricultural Society held their 
annual meeting at Berwick-upon-Tweed, which was thronged with 
strangers from all parts of the country. Sir Charles Gordon, the 
secretary, stated that the entries were numerous beyond precedent. 
There were entered for competition Cattle, 175; horses, 90; 
sheep, 653 ; pigs, 33 ; in all, 962. This was the largest show- 
ever held by the society, or, as far as he knew, by any other 
society. A dinner took place after the show, at which the Duke 
of Richmond presided, the Marquis of Tweeddale being croupier. 
The Dukes of Northumberland, Roxburgh, and Buccleuch, the 
Earls of Buchan and Countown, Lord Howick, Lord Ossulston, 
Lord Templemore, and nearly all the landed proprietors of the 
district were present, the number of guests being 1,918. 

September 30. The ancient corporation of Hartlepool, which 
had been for some time in a dormant state, with its fine property 
open to the aggressions of the unprincipled, was restored to life 
and vigour, her majesty the Queen having been pleased to grant a 
charter under the great seal for its re-incorporation. This charter 
was brought down from London on the above day, by Mr. Toase, 
the London solicitor to the corporation, and was read before the 
committee that night, when it was found that William Vollum. 
esq., was appointed mayor, and Messrs. H. S. Shearman, W. G. 

A..D. 1841.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 155 

Vollum, Johnson Worthy, John Winstanley, Cuthbert Sharp, 
William Manners, George Sheraton, Thomas Powell, Stephen 
Horner, Christopher Davison, Joseph Mellanby, and Thomas Bell, 
chief burgesses. Mr, Vollum's mayoralty was of short duration, 
as the charter appointed Monday, October 4th, for the appointment 
of a new mayor. A court of common-council was held on that 
day, when W. John Vollum, esq., was chosen as successor to his 
father, Stapylton, esq., recorder, and Thomas Bell, esq., clerk 
to the corporation. 

1841 (October 4). One of the most extraordinary achievements 
of modern times the removal of the lighthouse, at Sunderland, in 
an entire state, from the site on which it stood for forty years to 
the eastern extremity of the pier was brought to a successful 
conclusion, in the presence of a great number of spectators. At a 
meeting of the Commissioners of the river Wear, the pulling down 
and re-erection of this lighthouse at the extreme end of the pier, 
which had been lengthened and improved, was fully discussed, 
when Mr. Murray, the talented engineer, proposed to remove it 
entire a distance of near 500 feet. His plans having been approved 
of, the masonry at the base, which was fifteen feet in diameter, was 
cut away, and timbers were inserted through the building and 
extending seven feet beyond it. Above, and at right angles to 
them, another tier of timber was inserted, so as to form a cradle, 
or base, 29 feet square, and this cradle was to be supported upon 
bearers, with about 250 wheels, of six inches in diameter, to 
traverse upon a railway laid for the purpose. The building, 
which was about 80 feet high, and weighed about 300 tons, was 
to be tied together with bands, and its eight sides supported with 
timber braces, from the cradle upwards to the cornice. The 
necessary preparations having been effected, the work of removal 
was commenced, and, having been first taken several yards in a 
northerly direction, the rails were laid to convey it forward to the 
eastern extremity of the pier, and from that time the operations 
were continued until the lighthouse was removed to its intended 
site on the new pier head. The rate of movement varied from 
1 to 2 feet per minute, and the whole work was concluded without 
the slightest injury to life or property. The lighthouse being 
lighted up every night, as usual, great credit was awarded to Mr. 
Murray for his ability and success. The entire cost of the removal 
was 827, the estimated cost of pulling down and rebuilding 

October 7. On this and the three previous days an almost 
incessant rain fell throughout this district, in consequence of 
which, the rivers in Northumberland were flooded to an alarming 
extent. The Tyne was so high that many of the cellars on the 
Quayside, at Newcastle, were filled with water, and, at the Stock- 
bridge, considerable damage and inconvenience ensued from the 
bursting of the sewers. All the rivers ift. Northumberland were 
very high. The wild running streams, descending from the 
Cheviots, presented an imposing appearance, coming down with 


almost irresistable force, sweeping away embankments, and 
flooding the adjacent low lands for miles. The damage done by 
the Glen, in its mad career, to dykes, caulds, bridges, and corn in 
stook, between Newton and its confluence with the Till, was 
immense. At Blanchland and Allensford, the bridges were nearly 
all destroyed, the Derwent having risen to a greater height than 
was ever known, with the exception of 1771. 

1841 (October). Early in this month, Mr. George Bates, inn- 
keeper, Ponteland, vomited an asp, between two and three inches 
long, which he supposed he must have swallowed, or some of the 
spawn, while drinking water out of a ditch. 

October 19. Between seven and eight o'clock this morning, 
a most determined act of suicide was committed, between Stockton 
and Norton, by a man named Robinson, and which occasioned 
considerable excitement in both places. As a Mr. Harrison, a 
grocer in Stockton, but who lodged at Norton, was on his way 
from the latter to the former place, he was met by Robinson, when 
an altercation took place, which was abruptly concluded by 
Robinson demanding the loan of 5, and Harrison replying " of 
course not," the latter proceeded on his way, when, on looking 
round, he was startled at seeing Robinson close to him, with a 
pistol in his hand, which he instantly presented and drew the 
trigger, fortunately it missed fire. Harrison struck him a blow on 
the arm and hurried away, with the intention of obtaining the 
assistance of the police. Robinson almost instantly left the foot- 
path, passed the end of the " Brown Jug" public house, on the road 
leading to Fogs brick-yard, and, discharging a pistol into his own 
breast, gave a sudden spring, and then fell apparently dead. He 
was taken up and conveyed into the public house, where he 
expired before medical aid could be procured. Three pistols, all 
loaded with ball, were found upon him, and, it is supposed, he had 
tried them all upon Harrison. 

October 27. A magnificent bazaar, in aid of the funds of the 
Northern Asylum for the Blind and the Deaf and Dumb, for 
which great preparations had been making for several weeks, was 
held in the Music Hall, Newcastle, being under the special and 
illustrious patronage of Her Majesty Queen Adelaide and Her 
Grace the Duchess of Northumberland, as well as a very numerous 
body of distinguished ladies connected with the northern counties. 
The greatest interest was created on the occasion, and the town 
was literally thronged with visitors, who had come to give their 
support to the meritorious object contemplated by the undertaking, 
and to witness the pleasing and animated proceedings amidst the 
galaxy of rank, fashion, and beauty, that were assembled in the 
room. Stalls were occupied by the Countess of Hardwicke, Lady 
Ravensworth, the Hon. Mrs. Liddell, Lady Williamson, &c., &c. 
The total proceeds of the bazaar exceeded 934. 

October 28. This morning, during a heavy sea, the Blyth 
Lifeboat Committee held a meeting at that place, when it was 
arranged to launch the boat for practice. The brig Sibsons was 


off the port at the time, and Mr. Hodgson, the owner of the vessel, 
and a crew of eleven men, embarked in the boat, Mr. Hodgson 
offering the men 3 if they could reach his ship, but they had 
scarcely put off, when a heavy sea struck the boat and capsized it. 
Mr. Hodgson and one of the crew clung to the bottom of the boat 
and were saved, but the others were all drowned, in the sight of 
hundreds of people, who were totally unable to render any assist- 
ance. The sufferers were Wm. Dixon, aged 60 ; Dan Dawson, 
25 ; John Hodgson, 28 ; John Hepple, 22 ; Jas. White, 45 ; Peter 
Bushel, 21, all seamen ; Edward Wood, carpenter, 35 ; Thomas 
Grieves, trimmer, 40 ; Robinson Burn, pilot, 44 ; and Henry 
Debord, shipowner, 56. 

1841 (November 2). The annual election of mayors and other 
corporate officers took place. The following were the chief 
magistrates appointed in this district: Newcastle James Hodgson, 
(John Thomas Carr, sheriff). Gateshead George Sowerby, 
Durham John Bramwell. Sunderland Sir H. Williamson, bart. 
Stockton Robinson Watson. Morpeth William Clarke. Berwick 
Alexander Cahill, (Ralph Forster, sheriff). 

November 10. The intelligence of the birth of an heir to the 
throne, on the ninth, arrived from the metropolis, and was received 
with inexpressible joy and gratification, by all classes of the com- 
munity. Bell ringing and other signs of rejoicing everywhere 
prevailed. The Corporations of Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, 
and other towns, afterwards voted congratulatory addresses to her 

November 14. An alarming fire was discovered at Friar's 
Goose Colliery, near to Mr. Clapham's alkali works, South Shore, 
by which an extensive range of sheds, screens, &c., and a number 
of waggons were entirely consumed. The damage was estimated 
at 800. 

November 26. Died, at Genoa, Louisa Elizabeth, Countess 
of Durham, relict of the Right Hon. John George Lambton, 
Earl of Durham, whom she survived only sixteen months. The 
remains of the countess were interred in the family vault, at 
Chester-le-street, on December 28. 

November 29. The Tweed Bank at Berwick stopped pay- 
ment. The transactions of the bank were very extensive, 
particularly in Berwickshire and the northern part of Northum- 
berland, and its suspension caused great consternation in the 
district. The partners were William Smith Batson, John Wilson, 
and John Langhorne. A first dividend of 5s. in the pound was 
paid in July, 1842, a second of Is. 5d. in January, 1843, a third 
of 3s. lie?, in July, 1843, a fourth of 6d. in February, 1845, and a 
fifth of 3d. in January, 1850. 

November. Early in December, Mr. James Beadling, of 
Painsher, departed this life at the venerable age of 92. His wife, 
to whom he had been married 68 years, was then living, and was 
9 7 years of age. He left behind him sons and daughters, 14; 


grand-children, 75 ; great grand-children, 46 ; total, 135. Think 
of providing a Christmas dinner for such a family. 

1841 (December). -In the latter part of this year, the Rev. Robert 
Green, incumbent of All Saints', Newcastle, had the sepulchral 
brass of Roger de Thornton taken from its position in the vestibule 
of the church, and, on examination, found it seriously corroded. 
After a judicious cleansing, repair, and lackering, Mr. Green had 
it securely placed in a frame- work of wood, and, by hanging it in 
the vestry, a reasonable hope is afforded that this interesting relic 
will yet exist through many years. Mr. Green had intended to 
have defrayed the expenses incurred, amounting to 15, by a 
subscription, but was prevented by the liberality of Mrs. Witham, 
of Lartington, Mr. Salvin, and Raleigh Trevelyan, esq., of Nether- 
witton (three descendants of the great and good man), who 
preferred paying the expenses themselves. 

December 10. William Hutchinson and John Green, of 
Wingate Colliery, Durham, were brought before the Easington 
magistrates for a violent assault upon Edward Floordon, on the 
above day. It appeared that Green fastened a rope to Floordon's 
foot, Hutchinson took the other end of the rope and put it round 
the pit rope, which was going at the time. Floordon was 
instantly tossed head foremost down the pit, when, wonderful to 
relate, after descending about 16 yards, he caught hold of an 
ascending rope, turned himself upwards, and was brought safely 
to the surface. The magistrates convicted Hutchinson in the 
penalty of 5, and Green in the penalty of 1 and costs. 

1842 (January 6). Died, at Alnwick, aged 82, Mr. William 
Tarn, a native of Newcastle, and one of the oldest freemen of 
that borough. His gentlemanly manners and kindness of heart 
endeared him to all who knew him. 

January 8. That immense undertaking, the Spital Tongues 
Colliery Tunnel, belonging to Messrs. Porter and Latirner, 
was opened from the colliery to the river Tyne, near the Glass- 
house bridge. The extreme length of the tunnel is 2^- miles, total 
descent from the entrance at the colliery to the spouts for shipping 
the coals, 222 feet. This line of railway is worked by a stationary 
engine, the loaded waggons taking after them the rope to draw 
the empty waggons back. Twelve keels could be shipped in an 
hour. The waggons are of an improved form, invented by W. 
E. Gillhespie, the engineer who had the whole management of 
this stupendous work. The tunnel, from end to end, is arched 
with bricks, and has an inverted stone arch at bottom. The 
workmen, to the number of two hundred, were regaled with a 
substantial supper and strong ale, supplied by Mrs. Dixon, the 
worthy hostess of the Unicorn Inn, Bigg-market, Newcastle. 
The Albion band attended, and enlivened the joyous occasion with 
their music. The tunnel was commenced in 1839, and it is a 
remarkable circumstance that the whole of the strata worked was 
composed of nothing but solid clay. 


1842 (January 10). A terrific boiler explosion took place at 
Jarrow Alkali Works. The engine-house was completely blown 
down, and two men were killed Thomas Eobinson and John 
Smith. Other seven men were scalded and otherwise seriously 

January 20. Mr. Cresswell, M.P. for Liverpool, and brother 
of A. J. Baker Cresswell, esq., M.P. for Northumberland, was 
appointed one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, in 
the room of Mr. Justice Bosanquet, resigned. 

January 25. Being the day appointed for the baptism of 
Albert, Prince of Wales, the event was celebrated throughout 
the country with suitable demonstrations of joy. At Sunderland, 
Barnardcastle, Darlington, North and South Shields, &c., distri- 
butions of meat and other necessaries were made to the poor. 
The dismounted troop of the Northumberland and Newcastle 
Volunteer Cavalry fired &feu dejoieon the Sandhill. After firing, 
the troop repaired to St. Nicholas'-square, to break up, where a 
rather serious affray took place. A mob which had collected 
attacked the Volunteers with snowballs as they dispersed, causing 
great confusion and uproar in the streets for some time after. 

January 25. The church of St. Patrick, at the Felling, near 
Gateshead, was opened with the usual formula of the Catholic 
ceremonial. A sermon was preached by the Eev. William 
Eiddell, by whose zeal the erection of the building was principally 

January 26. Mr. Robert Simpson, of Newport- on- Tees, 
farmer and merchant, was returning home from Middlesbro', at a 
late hour, when he observed three men proceed from the rear of 
his granary to the wharf, with well filled bags on their backs, and, 
concluding that they were carrying on a " free trade" in corn at 
his expense, he roused his servants to the rescue of his property. 
The suspected parties, hearing the alarm, threw down their bags, 
and ran off in opposite directions. The bags having been examined, 
were found to contain leaf tobacco. Subsequently several 
additional bags were found, and, with the three already seized, 
were conveyed to the Custom House, at Stockton, when the total 
quantity was ascertained to amount to 5,94;81b. The duty upon 
this seizure would have been 934. 

January 26. The weather at this period was extremely severe, 
with heavy falls of snow, and a tremendous wind blowing from 
the south-west. Coaches and conveyances of every description 
were almost entirely stopped, and the mails were also unable to 
maintain their time. Many disasters occurred at sea, and several 
lives were lost. The snow remained till the 29th, when a gradual 
thaw set in, in the course of which two boys were drowned at 

January 29. Died, at his residence in St. James'-square, 
London, aged 75, the Right Honourable William Henry Vane, 
Duke and Marquis of Cleveland, Earl of Darlington, Viscount 
Barnard, and Baron Raby. The deceased was the only son of 


Henry, second Earl of Darlington, and Margaret, sister of the late 
and aunt of the present Earl of Lonsdale. In September, 1787, 
he married Lady" Katherine Margaret Powlett, second daughter 
and co-heiress of Henry, the sixth and last Duke of Bolton, by 
whom his grace had issue eight children. He married, secondly, 
in 1807, Elizabeth, daughter of R. Russell, esq., by whom he had 
no issue. In 1827 he was advanced to the title of Marquis of 
Cleveland, in 1833 he was created a duke, and in 1839 he was 
elected a Knight of the Garter. His devotion to field sports was 
almost unparalleled, and his stud of race horses was one of the 
best, as well as the most successful, ever known on the turf. His 
grace was buried, with strict privacy, at Staindrop. The entailed 
estates of the family devolved on his grace's eldest son, who, as 
Lord Barnard and Earl of Darlington, had sat in the House of 
Commons for the counties of Durham and Salop, and the boroughs 
of Tregony, Saltash, and Totness. The unentailed property was 
left to his grace's younger sons, Lord William Powlett and Lord 
Harry Vane, The personal property was sworn under one million 

1842 (February 3). Died, in New Bridge-street, Newcastle, 
aged 82, the Rev. Moses Manners, rector of Thelverton, Norfolk, 
and perpetual curate of St. Ann's, Newcastle. The deceased 
succeeded the Rev. John Brand, the historian of Newcastle, as 
usher of the Royal Grammar School in 1784, and was presented to 
the above curacy in 1786, and to the rectory of Thelverton, by his 
townsman, Lord Eldon, in 1813. 

February 14. A singular contrivance, to evade the payment 
of excise duty, was discovered on board the Vesta steamer, 
which sails between Newcastle and Edinburgh, by an officer of the 
excise. It appears that in examining the cargo of the steamer, he 
observed a large doll, dressed up in the gay attire of those which 
are usually sold in toy shops, but, on account of its being of extra- 
ordinary dimensions, he, after examining it minutely, perceived 
that the lady's head easily separated from her body, and that her 
neck formed nothing less than the neck of a large whisky bottle, 
the contents of which had, no doubt, been previously extracted. 

February 20. Died, at Felton Vicarage, John Reed, esq., 
of Prestwick, and formerly of Chipchase Castle, aged 83, and on 
the 28th, at the same place, Miss Reed, his sister, aged 85. Mr. 
Reed was distributor of stamps for Northumberland and Durham. 
His remains and those of his sister were interred in the family 
vault, at Bell's Close, in the parish of Newburn, near Newcastle. 

February 21. At the meeting of the Natural History Society 
of Newcastle, several trophies and objects of interest from 
China, brought home by Captain Gustavus Coulson, of the Royal 
Navy, son of Colonel Coulson, of Blenkinsopp Castle, and whose 
services in the Blonde frigate in the Chinese expedition, were 
handsomely noticed by his superiors, were presented by that 
gentleman, consisting of bows, arrows, a matchlock, shield, helmets, 
caps, banner, umbrella, magic lustre, &c. These have been 

A,D. 1842."] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 161 

tastefully put up in the museum by the curator, in one of the 
compartments, and attract much of the notice of visitors. 

1842 (February 22.) James Liddle, foreman in the chain and 
anchor manufactory of Messrs. Edward Lumsdon and Son, Strand- 
street, Monkwearmouth, was this day remonstrating with a 
workman, named James Robertson, for neglecting his work, when 
the latter lifted up a sledge-hammer, weighing about 61b., and 
struck the foreman a tremendous blow on the head. Liddle was 
carried home, and surgical aid procured. His skull was found to 
be fractured, and the brain ruptured. He lingered insensible till 
five next morning, when death terminated his sufferings. Mr, 
Liddle was deservedly respected wherever he was known ; he had 
been 28 years in the service of Mr. Lumsdon, and was considered 
one of the best workmen in the north. Robertson was tried at the 
Durham Summer Assizes, before Lord Denman, and was sentenced 
to transportation for life. 

February 26. This day, was launched from Messrs. Smith's 
dock, St. Peter's, near Newcastle, the fine ship the Ellenborough. 
The vessel went off in grand style amidst the cheers of several 
thousands of spectators. She was declared by the best judges to 
be by far the most beautiful and best built, as well as the largest 
vessel ever launched into the Tyne. 

February 26. Died, at Lesbury, near Alnwick, aged 80, John 
Herdman, M.D. The deceased was the author of several medical 
works, and practised as a physician many years in London, with 
great success, having been appointed one of the physicians to 
H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex. He, however, relinquished his 
profession from conscientious motives, his opinions having become 
quite anti-medical, and were rigidly carried into practice. He 
considered that to minister to nature, and to conform to her 
operations by sobriety and regularity of life, were the only safe 
means to secure health; and he entirely rejected the aid of medicine, 
as tending to derange and debilitate the system, declining assistance 
during his last illness, and declaring that he desired only to die a 
natural death. After his retirement from the medical profession, 
he entered into holy orders, and preached occasionally in Alnwick, 
Howick, and the adjoining parish churches. The doctor was a 
native of Fifeshire, and, by his marriage with Miss Hay, daughter 
of the late C. Hay, esq., of Lesbury, he succeeded to great wealth, 
which he diffused with a generous hand. He was a liberal supporter 
of public institutions, a munificent patron of the fine arts, and a 
kind benefactor to the poor and the distressed. 

February 27. Died, at Mitford Castle, Northumberland, 
in his 65th year, Bertram Osbaldiston Mitford, esq., the lineal male 
descendant of the very ancient family of Mitford. 

March 9. As Mr. George Watson, a butcher at Stockton, 
was driving a fat cow from the market, the animal turned 
into a passage in William-street, and, one of the doors being open, 
she proceeded up stairs and unceremoniously took possession of a 
room, occupied by a man named Franklin, a flax dresser, who was 



at work, his wife and children being with him. They were, of 
course, both surprised and alarmed at the extraordinary intrusion. 
Mr. Watson soon came to their relief, and the cow was forcibly 
ejected. The damage done did not amount to five shillings, which 
the worthy butcher cheerfully paid. 

1842 (March 13). Died, at Alnwick Castle, aged 58, the Rev. 
Thomas Singleton, D.D., chaplain to His Grace the Duke of 
Northumberland, Archdeacon of Northumberland, rector of 
Elsclon and Howick, in the same county, and a prebendary of 
Worcester. He was the only son of Thomas Anketell Singleton, 
formerly governor of Landguard Fort, by a daughter of Francis 
Grose, esq., the celebrated antiquary. The three celebrated letters 
on Church Reform, written by the Rev. Sydney Smith, were 
addressed to Archdeacon Singleton, who was an intimate friend of 
the witty canon of St. Paul's. Sir Henry Hardinge was his 
almost daily correspondent, and he usually spent a week at 
Tamworth with Sir Robert Peel during his residence as canon of 

April 1. The ship Georgia, of Newcastle, an Indiaman, 
Captain Mitchell, bound to London from Calcutta, was lost by 
fire, attended with a deplorable sacrifice of human life. The ship 
was valued at 7,000, being splendidly fitted up for the accomo- 
dation of passengers. She had a rich cargo on board, consisting 
of jewellery, merchandise, and other valuable property, which 
perished with the vessel, and which was estimated at 20,000. 
The Georgia was the property of Messrs. Anthony Hood and Co., 
of Newcastle. 

April 11. A splendid running match of 440 yards, for 
200 sovereigns, came off near Lambton Castle, between the 
" Doctor," of Newcastle, and Atkinson, of Durham. The distance 
was accomplished by Atkinson in fifty-four seconds, his rival being 
a few yards behind him. At least 10,000 spectators were present. 

April 18. The Queen held a levee at St. James's, when 
James Hodgson, esq,, mayor of Newcastle, was presented to her 
majesty by Mr. Ord, M.P. Mr. Hodgson presented the con- 
gratulary address of the Newcastle Corporation, and had the 
honour of kissing hands. On Thursday his worship presented an 
address to Prince Albert. 

April 27. A public entertainment was given in the 
Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, to Sir John Walsham, bart., 
assistant poor law commissioner, by the gentlemen comprising the 
various boards of guardians of the northern district, as a mark of 
their approbation of the manner in which he had discharged his 
arduous duties during a period of six years, and of regret at his 
departure from the district. J. C. Jobling, esq., of Newton Hall, 
presided, and J. L. Loraine and J. Tinley, esqrs., acted as vice- 
chairmen. On the president's right was Sir John Walsham, bark, 
the guest of the evening, and Charles William Bigge, esq., of 
Linden ; Charles John Bigge, esq. ; Charles A. Monck, esq. ; John 
Brandling, esq. j William Thompson Greenwell, esq. ; Charles 


Bacon Grey, esq. ; Dr. Headlam ; the Mayor of Newcastle ; the 
Rev. the Vicar, and other distinguished individuals in his imme- 
diate vicinity. After dinner, the worthy baronet made the 
following observations on the comparative cost of working the 
old and the new poor law. He said " Last year it fell to his 
lot to compare the average of thirty unions in Durham, Northum- 
umberlaud, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, the old averages of 
which were 190,000 a-year. The new averages were .156.000, 
showing a decrease in favour of the new of 34,000." 

1842 (May 3). Died, at St. Petersburg!!, aged 62, Sir Robert 
Ker Porter, K.C.H., the celebrated traveller. The deceased was 
a brother of the well-known authoresses Anna, Maria, and Jane 
Porter, and was born at Durham in 1780, being descended mater- 
nally from two families long connected with the county of North- 
umberland. In early life he manifested considerable ability in 
drawing, and, although having a strong preference for military life, 
it was deemed proper to cultivate his talents as an artist, and, about 
the year 1790, he became a student of the Royal Academy, under 
the auspices of Mr. West. -In 1804 he was invited to Russia, and 
appointed historical painter to the Czar. During his residence at 
St. Petersburgh he gained the affections of the Princess Mary, 
daughter of Prince Theodore de Sherbatoff, whom he married. 
Sir Robert accompanied Sir John Moore into Spain, and shared 
in the hardships and perils of the campaign, which ended in the 
battle of Corunna. In 1807 he was created a Knight of St. Joachim 
of Wurtemburg, and, on his return to England in 1813, he received 
t'.e honour of knighthood from the Prince Regent. In 1819 he 
was created a Knight of the Lion and Sun of Persia. The deceased 
was the author of " Sketches in Russia and Sweden," 1808 ; 
*' Letters from Portugal and Spain," 1809 ; " Narrative of the 
Late Campaign in Russia," 1813; "Travels in Georgia and Persia," 
1821, &c., &c. In the diplomatic service his last appointment was 
that of Consul of Venezeula, from whence he returned in 1841. 

May 23.* A very ancient grave was discovered at Brooin- 
house, near Angerton, Northumberland, while getting materials 
for the new mansion erecting there for J. H. H. Atkinson, esq. 
It contained the remains of a female, placed in a sitting position, 
with short knives of bronze and flint, and ornaments of coal, the 
whole enclosed with flat stones, and was 45 inches broad and 27 
high. It was supposed to belong to a period about 600 years 
before the Christian era. Many similar graves have been found 
on the Angerton grounds, and one of the same character was 
discovered about a month after this date, at Sweethope, upon the 

May 25. A terrific thunder storm occurred at Barnard 
Castle and its vicinity. At Scargill the farm-house of Mr. 
Bowi'on was struck by the lightning, when part of the west gable 
was thrown down, nearly every window in the house blown out, 
several of the doors thrown off their hinges, the whole of the 
vessels in the dairy destroyed, the ceiling of some of the rooms 


and part of the roof forced off. The escape of Mr. Bowron was 
most remarkable. He had just arrived at home, and had sat down 
to smoke his pipe, when suddenly the chair on which he sat was 
shivered to pieces, his gaiters singed, and he himself unhurt. It 
is impossible to describe the devastation the lightning occasioned. 

1842 (May 25). The boiler of a locomotive engine, on the Stan- 
hope and Tyne Railway, at Annfield Plain, suddenly burst, when the 
engineman, named Thomas Shevil, and the brakesman, Edward 
Ri'ddell, were killed on the spot. 

j une 8. Died, at Newbiggin, Northumberland, aged 104, Mr. 
John Armstrong, mariner. He served in his majesty's navy at 
the commencement of the American war. 

June 20. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
St. Leger Stakes were won by Mr. G. Clarke's Master Thomas 
(Holmes). The Northumberland Plate was won by Major 
Yarburgh's b c Heslington (Joy). The Gold Cup was won by 
Mr, Orde's Beeswing (Cartwright), beating Mr. Saville Ogle's 
Charles the XLI. Betting : 12 to 1 on Beeswing, who won easily 
by four lengths. This celebrated mare had then won 23 gold cups 
and 50 prizes, and had proved herself superior to some of the first 
horses in the kingdom. 

July 10. At an ordination held this day, at Auckland Castle, 
one of the successful candidates was Mr. Blythe Hurst, till lately 
a blacksmith in the village of Winlaton, Durham. After the 
toils of his laborious trade were daily concluded, he acquired, 
without any assistance, an acquaintance with English, Greek, 
Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, French, and Sanscrit, and also 
taught himself to write. At a time when socialism was making 
much progress in the village, Mr. Hurst published a little pamphlet, 
entitled " Christianity no Priestcraft." This work having fallen 
into the hands of the Bishop of Durham, his lordship caused 
inquiries to be made concerning Mr. Hurst, as to his mode of study, 
and desired Mr. Douglas, the rector of Whickham, to pay the 
blacksmith a visit. Mr. Douglas found him toiling the whole day 
to support his family, pursuing his studies while at work, having 
his lessons on his flame stone. Mr. Douglas conversed with him, 
and subsequently made a report to the bishop, who eventually gave 
the poor scholar the means of following that course of life for 
which he had long pined. Mr. Hurst passed his examination with 
the highest credit, and remained some days on a visit to the bishop 
at Auckland Castle, shortly after which he entered upon his 
ministerial duties as curate of Garrigill, near Alston. 

July 10. This day, Mrs. Isabella Carnaby, landlady of the 
Duke of Cumberland public house, Close, Newcastle, threw 
herself out of the attic window into the street, from the effects of 
which she died shortly after. 

July 11. Died, at Darlington, aged 108, Mrs. Elizabeth 

July 16. A match, for 150 a-side, between the crew of the 
St. Agnes, a four-oared boat, manned by a crew of brothers, 


named Clasper, and a London crew, named Newell, Coombes, and 
J. and R. Doubledee, came off. The race was from Newcastle 
Bridge to Lemington, which was won easily by the London rowers. 

1842 (July 18;. A foot-race, for 150 a-side, took place 
near Durham, between two men, named Atkinson and Whitehead. 
About 15,000 persons were present. Atkinson fell about 20 yards 
from home. 

July 26. The body of a young woman was found on 
the sea shore near Hardwicke, Durham, under circumstances which 
left no doubt that she had been murdered. It was at first 
supposed that the deceased was the daughter of a person named 
Dixon, resident at Wolviston, that she had been seduced by a 
young man, who, having since been married to another woman, 
had murdered the deceased and fled. During the inquest a some- 
whatsingularillustrationof the dangerous tendency of circumstantial 
evidence was adduced. The brother, father, and sister of the girl 
missing from Wolviston swore to the deceased being that individual, 
and their evidence was corroborated by a woman who swore 'that 
the stays which were produced, and which were taken from' the 
body, were made by her for the girl in question. After this 
apparently conclusive evidence the coroner consented, on the 
application of the father, to give up the body to him for interment. 
Before, however, it had reached its intended resting-place, a police- 
officer, who had been in quest of the supposed murderer, arrived 
with the information that both he and the missing girl were alive 
and well at Lofthouse, in Cleveland, whither the father, by the 
direction of the coroner, immediately proceeded, and actually found 
his daughter. The body was then brought back, and the inquest 
was adjourned till Friday, when it was clearly proved that the 
deceased was Jane Jackson, the daughter of a respectable man at 
Easington. No further particulars could be ascertained, but the 
conviction was strengthened that the unfortunate woman had been 
brutally murdered. 

August 25. The marriage of Lord Prudhoe, second son of 
Hugh, second Duke of Northumberland, to Lady Eleanor, eldest 
daughter of Earl Grosvenor, and granddaughter of the Marquis of 
Westminster, was solemnized this day at St. George's Church, 
Hanover-square. At the same time, Lord Parker, eldest son of 
the Earl of Macclesfield, was united to Lady Mary Frances 
Grosvenor, second daughter of Earl Grosvenor." His Grace the 
Archbishop of York officiated at both marriages, in the presence of 
a very distinguished circle of the relatives and friends of the 
Northumberland, Westminster, and Macclesfield families. 

September 7. An American seaman, named Michael Smith, 
aged 23, proposed to leap from the east side of Sunderland Bridge 
into the Wear. His intention was announced by handbills, and 
at the time fixed thousands of persons assembled to witness this 
daring and novel exploit. On arriving at the centre of the bridge, 
he was preparing to throw himself off, when he was seized by the 
police, who conducted him to the station-house, to the great 


disappointment of the spectators. Next day he was brought before 
the magistrates and bound over to keep the peace. About six 
o'clock in the evening of the same day, determined not to be 
diverted from his purpose, Smith went privately on to the bridge, 
and despatched his companions to apprize certain parties who had 
befriended him of his determination to leap. Having perched 
himself on the summit of the lamp-frame, from whence, waving his 
cap gallantly, he sprung into the river, a height of upwards of 110 
feet. On reaching the water he struck out, and swam like a " sea 
bird" to a keel, from whence he saluted the spectators on the 
bridge and on the heights in the style of a true Jack Tar, which 
was immediately returned by a round of hearty cheers from the 
astonished multitude. Smith took another leap on the 15th, which 
was witnessed by 30,000 spectators, and was performed success- 
fully, though Smith's body was slightly bruised by its sudden 
contact with the water, the high wind then blowing having thrown 
him into an angular position whilst falling. 

1842 (September 15J. The celebrated racing mare, Beeswing, the 
property of William Orde, esq., of Nunnykirk, closed her 
wonderful career on the turf by winning the Doncaster Cup. This 
was Beeswing's fifty-first victory, and the twenty-fourth gold cup 
which she had won, a number quite unprecedented. After having 
eight foals four colts and four fillies several of which proved 
themselves worthy descendants of " the Pride of the North," 
Beeswing died March 4th, 1854, near Chester, aged 21. 

September 23. John Thompson, a tailor, of Sunderland, in a 
drunken freak, declared that he would that night rival Smith, the 
diver, by jumping off Wearmouth Bridge, which rash act he 
performed. He was picked up, a few minutes after, quite dead. 

September 27. A grand musical festival commenced in 
St. Nicholas' Church, Newcastle, for the benefit of the several 
charitable institutions established in the counties of Northumber- 
land and Durham. The instrumental performers were 64 in 
number, and the chorus consisted of 163 voices, the whole being 
tinder the direction of Sir George Smart. Amongst the principle 
vocalists were Madame Caradoni Allan, Miss B. Hawes, Miss 
Birch, Miss Pyne, Mr. H. Phillips, Mr. Hobbs, Mr. Machin, Mr. 
Ashton, &c., &c. The church was fitted up with galleries for the 
accomodation of the patrons of the festival, as well as for the 
performers, and the arrangements, generally, were considered 
admirable. The performances on the first morning were of a 
miscellaneous character, on the 28th Haydn's *' Creation," and 
Rossini's " Stabat Mater," with passages from Handel's " Israel 
in Egypt," and on the 29th Handel's " Messiah" occupied the 
whole morning. On each of the three evenings there was a 
concert at the Theatre. The festival concluded on the 30th with 
a grand fancy dress ball in the Assembly Rooms, which was 
attended by nearly 600 of the nobility and gentry. The ball was 
led off by the Marchioness of Londonderry and M. Bell, esq., 
M.P., and, from the extraordinary magnificence of many of the 


dresses, the scene was one of the most brilliant ever witnessed in 
the town. Unfortunately, the musical festival, with all its merit, 
turned out to be a failure in a pecuniary point of view. The total 
receipts for the church and theatre were 1,865, while the 
expenses amounted to about 2,665. The deficiency was made 
up by the subscribers to the guarantee fund. 

1842 (September 30). A grand bazaar, in aid of the Natural 
History Society and the Society for the Promotion of the Fine 
Arts, was held in the rooms of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society and the Museum, Newcastle. During the day, the bazaar 
was visited by two thousand five hundred persons, who paid for 
admission, and, if accommodation could have been afforded, it 
would have been visited by at least a thousand more. There were 
two stalls in the Museum, the Marchioness of Londonderry 
attending at one and the Misses Brandling attending at the other. 
In the library the stalls were arranged on each side, the centre 
being left for the promenade. These were attended by Mrs. 
Mayoress, Mrs. J. T. Carr, Mrs. Joseph Watson, Mrs. W. L. 
Harle, Mrs. Barnett, and Mrs. Swinburne. The exhibition of 
Chinese curiosities, furnished by Captain Coulson, R.N., was 
highly attractive. The gingalls, cannons, flags, shoes, caps, 
swords, deities, chairs, bows, arrows, musical instruments, as well 
as figures, excited much admiration. The total proceeds of the 
three days amounted to upwards of 800. A balance of 530 
remained at the disposal of the society. 

October 6. A splendid vessel, the longest ever built on the 
banks of the Wear, was launched from the building yard of Mr. 
John Watson, at Pallion, near Sunderland. She was built for 
Richard Greenwell, esq., and was called " The Castle Eden," in 
commemoration of the successful winning of the colliery of that 
name, of which that gentleman is one of the principal proprietors. 

October 7. Died, at Darlington, Jonathan Backhouse, esq., 
of Polam House, head of the banking firm of Backhouse & Co , 
Darlington, aged 63. 

October 8. Saturday, Mr. Henry George Liddell, eldest son 
of the Hon. H. T. Liddell, M.P., having attained his 21st year, 
his noble grandfather, Lord Ravensworth, entertained his tenantry 
at dinner on that day, in celebration of the happy event. It was 
not, however, until Wednesday, the 12th, that the grand celebration, 
so long previously determined on, took place. On this latter day 
between 400 and 500 visitors were present, including Her Royal 
Highness the Duchess of Gloucester, His Imperial Highness the 
Archduke Frederick Ferdinand of Austria, Lady Caroline Legge, 
Lord and Lady Chelsea, the Earl of Scarborough, Lord and Lady 
Barrington and Miss Barrington, Lord and Lady Hardwicke, Lord 
George Seymour, Lord and Lady Prudhoe, Miss Wynn, and Miss 
Percy, Sir C. Monck and Mrs. Monck, Matt. Bell, esq., M P., and 
Mrs. Bell, Sir Edward and Lady Blackett, and, in short, most of 
the principal families in the counties of Durham and Northumber- 
land. For some days past the public mind had been kept in a 


state of considerable excitement, in consequence of the royal and 
distinguished personages who were expected to be present. The 
Duchess of Gloucester had come into the north in order to be 
present at the festivities, and the Duke of Cambridge had also 
returned, after his recent visit to Wynyard, with the same object. 
His Royal Highness and the Duchess of Gloucester paid a visit to 
the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, at Alnwick Castle, and 
proceeded as far north as Haggerston. The royal duke, after 
returning to Ravensworth Castle, visited the Marquis and 
Marchioness of Londonderry, at Wynyard, and proceeded thence 
to Raby Castle, on a visit to the Duke of Cleveland. From Raby 
his royal highness was expected to return to Ravensworth Castle, 
first paying a visit to William Russell, esq., of Brancepeth Castle, 
who had made great preparations for his Royal highness's recep- 
tion, but he was unexpectedly called to London, and he left Raby 
Castle for the south. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of 
Gloucester returned from Alnwick Castle on Monday, and on 
Tuesday she drove out to Lambton Castle, where she remained a 
short time, and then returned to Ravensworth. The Archduke 
Frederick of Austria was also in the neighbourhood, and it was 
hoped would join the festivities a hope which it will be seen was 
realized. The royal and distinguished party began to assemble at 
Ravensworth Castle shortly after three o'clock on Wednesday 
afternoon, but long before that time the grounds were covered 
with gay and festive parties, who had determined to enjoy a 
holiday on the occasion. Indeed, the whole road through the 
grounds to the castle was crowded by parties anxious to witness 
the arrival of the company. The grounds, however, appeared 
decidedly to advantage, the autumnal hues of the variegated copse- 
wood contrasting with the greea sward of the delightful parks. 
The preparations at the castle for the reception and entertainment 
of the company were on an extensive scale. The billiard-room 
was set apart as an ante-room, where the visitors deposited their 
hats, cloaks, &c., and then they proceeded to the gallery, where 
they were received by Lord and Lady Ravensworth, and the 
different members of the family. The excellent band of the 61st 
Regiment was stationed on the lawn in front of the castle, and a 
number of choristers were engaged to attend in the gallery, where 
Mr. Ions presided at the organ. Shortly after the company began 
to arrive, the band commenced playing. On the entrance of Her 
Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester, the choristers sang the 
national anthem, and when His Imperial Highness the Archduke 
of Austria entered, the grand German national hymn of " God 
preserve the Emperor," was given in most effective style. During 
the arrival of the company several beautiful pieces were sung. 
" Gloria in Excelsis," from Mozart's Twelfth Mass, was finely 
executed ; and '-Thy Marvellous Works," from the sacred oratorio, 
" The Creation," was sung in most excellent style by Lady 
Williamson solo, and chorus. The " Inflammatus," from the 
" Stabat Mater," was also sung by Lady Williamson solo, and 


chorus ; besides a number of other selections of sacred music, the 
effect of which was beautiful. About half-past five, the company 
sat down to dinner which had been set out in the library, saloon, 
and drawing-room and dining-room. The royal party dined in 
the library, where the tables were laid for about forty. Lord 
Ravensworth presided, and was supported by the Marquis of 
Normanby, the Hon. H. T. Liddell, M.P., Lord and Lady Chelsea, 
Lord and Lady Barrington, Lord Prudhoe, Miss Wynn, and Miss 
Percy, the Earl of Scarborough, Lord George Seymour, His 
Imperial Highness Archduke Frederick of Austria, and suite, Her 
Royal Highness the Duchess of Gloucester, and Lady Caroline 
Legge, and a number of other distinguished individuals. The 
gorgeous display of massive silver plate on the principal table had 
a most magnificent effect, and the whole of the apartments were 
set out in a style of princely grandeur. After the cloth had been 
withdrawn, Lord Ravensworth rose and proposed the health of the 
Queen, which was enthusiastically responded to. The health of 
Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, and Princess Royal, the 
Queen Dowager, the Duchess of Gloucester, and the rest of the 
royal family, were also given and responded to in loud and 
enthusiastic plaudits. Lord Hardwicke, who had acted as 
toastmaster, then called for a bumper, and the Marquis of 
Normanby rose to propose the health of the Archduke Ferdinand 
of Austria, and in doing so paid a high compliment to his imperial 
highness. His imperial highness, being unable to speak fluently 
in English, begged of Lord Ravensworth to acknowledge the 
compliment which had been paid him, and his lordship did so in 
happy and appropriate terms. The noble president next proposed 
the health of Mr. Henry George Liddell, whose majority they 
were then met to celebrate, and expressed his gratification at his 
having been honoured by the company of so many noble and 
distinguished personages. The toast was drank with great 
enthusiasm. Mr. H. G. Liddell returned thanks, and concluded 
by proposing the health of Lord and Lady Ravensworth, which 
was received with rapturous applause. The Duchess of Gloucester 
and suite then retired, and the tables were soon deserted for the 
gallery, which formed a most delightful promenade. The archduke 
and suite retired to the saloon. The drawing-room tables were 
cleared in a few minutes, and the apartment converted into a 
splendid promenade, coffee and tea being served up in the library 
and dining-room. His imperial highness repaired to the gallery 
about 8 o'clock, and the Duchess of Gloucester entered soon, 
afterwards. A quadrille band from Newcastle had been engaged 
for the evening. The ball was led off by his imperial highness 
the archduke and the Hon. Miss Liddeli. Dancing was kept 
up with unabated spirit till a late hour. His imperial highness 
and suite left shortly after ten o'clock, and before twelve all 
the principal company had taken their departure. Parties who 
were present describe the entertainment as having been of the 
most magnificent description ; while the urbanity and kindness 


of Lord and Lady Ravens worth were 
unfeigned admiration. 


[A.D. 1842, 
spoken of in terms of 

(October 12). Died, at 
Albion-place, Newcastle, aged 
54, John Trotter Brockett, esq., 
F.S, A., one of the council of the 
Society of Antiquaries, Newcastle, 
and secretary of the Literary 
and Philosophical Society. Mr. 
Brockett received his education 
under theVenerableand Rev. Wm. 
Turner, then the preceptor of a 
limited number of young gentle- 
men, and selecting the profession 
of the law as the object of his 
pursuit. After the usual course 
of study, he was admitted an 
attorney. He practised as such 

many years in Newcastle, with distinguished ability and 
success. But his praise as a professional man is, that his 
practice was marked by the strictest integrity and liberality, and 
he descended to the tomb, amid the regrets of those numerous 
friends, who reposed with implicit confidence, their concerns to 
his guidance and direction. He collected a library of scarce and 
curious books, which were sold by Mr. Sotheby, in London, in 
1823. He also formed a splendid cabinet of coins and medals, 
which were offered to the public by the same gentleman in that 
year. For those gems he had the gratification of seeing the most 
gifted men of the day in competition. On the dispersion of his 
library and museum, he started the pursuit de novo, and he left 
behind him books and coins, and medals, which may vie with those 
of any private gentleman in the kingdom. But Mr. Brockett was 
not a bare collector. He knew the value of his books in the 
intelligence and wisdom infolded in their pages, and the use of his 
coins and medals for the purposes of history. Few men, indeed, 
studied Numismatics with greater closeness or more success than 
Mr. Brockett, and in this very rare attainment he pre-eminently 
stood forth. Mr. Brockett, as a writer and editor, is extensively- 
known ; but the works by which he is most distinguished are, 
" Inquiry into the Question whether the Freeholders of Newcastle- 
upon-Tyne are entitled to vote for Members of Parliament for the 
County of Northumberland," and, his " Glossary of North County 
Words." The first of those publications received the high 
commendations of Mr. Hopper Williamson and other constitutional 
lawyers; and the latter is appreciated wherever the English language 
is known. 

October 13. Lord and Lady Prudhoe arrived at Alnwick 
Castle, on their nuptial visit to their noble relatives, the Duke and 
Duchess of Northumberland, and their entrance into the town was. 
hailed with the utmost enthusiasm, and accompanied with every 

A.D. 1842.] 



demonstration of public rejoicing. The Percy tenantry, to the 
number of nearly 500, met them at Harapath Bank, near Nevvton- 
on-the-Moor, and escorted them to the castle. As they entered 
the town, they were saluted by the cannon on the castle, the shops 
were closed during the procession, and, as the noble lord and his 
bride drove through the town, they graciously acknowledged the 
greetings with which they were received. The tenantry and 
other inhabitants of the town were bountifully regaled at the 
castle. Dinners were provided at the different inns, and the day 
was kept as an entire holiday in the neighbourhood. 

1842 (October 14> Died, at Saltwell House, near Gateshead, 
the residence of William Caley, esq., aged 27, the Rev. John 
Lewis Eyre, of Newcastle. He had officiated as assistant catholic 
priest with the Revds. James Worswick and William Riddell, for 
the last sixteen months. In September, he was seized with the 


prevailing complaint of influenza and fever, of which he died. His 
remains were privately conveyed to the Catholic Chapel on the 
night of Tuesday, the 18th, and on Wednesday morning a solemn 
service was performed over the body, which was enclosed in a 
leaden coffin, and rested on a bier at the foot of the altar. The 
chapel was crowded to excess. His remains were afterwards 
interred at Jesmond Cemetery. 

1842 (October 16). Died, at Mor- 
peth, aged 69, William Orde, esq., of 
Nimnykirk, Northumberland, univer- 
sally and deservedly respected. The 
deceased, who was widely known as 
the owner of the celebrated Beeswing, 
Tomboy, and other racers, as well as 
by some little eccentricities of dress 
and deportment, was honoured, not 
only in Great Britain, but on the Con- 
tinent, for a character which few have 
acquired an honest and honourable 
sportsman. He was at the great fete 
at Ravensworth, and promenaded a 
considerable time on the lawn. He appeared in good spirits, and 
conversed freely with all around. 

October 20. Died, at Bam burgh, aged 25, Grace Horsley 
Darling, the heroine of the Farn Islands. She had been in a 
delicate state of health for some time, and her medical attendant 
recommended her removal from the sea. She, in consequence, 
went to reside with a friend at Wooler, and afterwards removed 
to Ainwick, where lodgings were engaged for her and her sister 
by their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, by 
whom the greatest attention was paid to the amiable girl. Her 
complaint having assumed the form of decided consumption, and 
all hope of recovery abandoned, her father anxiously desired that 
she should return amongst her family, atid she was accordingly 
removed from Ainwick to Bamburgh only about ten days before 
her death. 

November 9. The following gentlemen were elected mayors 
and sheriffs: Newcastle Thomas Dunn, esq., mayor, and Joseph 
Hawks, esq., sheriff. Gateshead Robert Davies, esq., mayor. 
Sunderland Andrew White, esq., mayor. Stockton Charles 
Trotter, esq., mayor. Morpeth William Trotter, esq., M. D., 
mayor. Berwick Joseph Hubback, esq., mayor, George Johnson, 
esq., sheriff. Hartlepool Thomas Rowell, esq., mayor. 

November 26. Lady Peat, widow of the Rev. Sir Robert 
Peat, the chaplain and companion of George the Fourth, died this 
day, at her house, in Villiers street, Bishopwearmouth, aged 90. 
Her eccentricities, as Miss Smith, of East Herrington, and the 
firing of her house, and murder of her servant girl, by some 
criminal yet unknown, are, no doubt, familiar to some still living. 
The fire and murder took place on the 28th of August, 1815, and 


three men Eden, Wolfe, sen., arid Wolfe, jun. were put on 
their trial for the offences. The two former were found guilty 
and sentenced to be hanged, but were afterwards pardoned, an 
alibi having been proved to the complete satisfaction of the judges, 
and a witness against them, of the name of Lincoln, was afterwards 
tried and found guilty of perjury. 

1842 (November 28). Died, at Egglescliff, Durham, at the ad- 
vanced age of 89, the Rev. John Brewster, for sixty-six years a 
minister of the Church of England, and successively incumbent of 
Greatham, Stockton, Redmarshall, Boldon, and Egglescliff, all in 
the county of Durham. In 1796 he published his " Parochial 
History and Antiquities of Stockton-upon-Tees,"a highly-esteemed 
topographical work. He had previously published a work t: On 
the Prevention of Crime, and the Advantages of Solitary Imprison- 
ment," in which he enunciated principles greatly in advance of the 
age. The deceased was born in Pilgrim-street,. Newcastle, on the 
18th of January, 1754, his father being at that time curate of St. 

December 13. Died, in Newcastle, aged 76, Archibald Reed, 
esq., many years an alderman, and six times mayor, of New- 
castle* His remains were interred on the 19th, in the Cemetery 
at Jesmond, the melancholy procession consisting of a hearse and 
four mourning coaches, besides a number of private carriages, the 
funeral being attended by the stewards of the incorporated com- 
panies, and a great number of individuals anxious to show their 
respect to the deceased. In politics Mr. Reed was a Conservative; 
and all acknowledged his amiable disposition, kindness of heart, 
and liberal hospitality. Indeed, few individuals have been so 
fortunate in securing the esteem of their fellow-townsmen, or have 
departed this life more deeply and deservedly regretted. 

1843 (January 13J A tremendous storm of wind passed over 
this country, and inflicted serious damage. In Northumberland 
and Durham the injury effected by the storm was much less severe 
than in the southern counties, but several vessels were wrecked 
upon the coast. At Tynemouth two ships went to pieces on the 
rocks, and Captain Hair, of the Percy, with two of his crew, were 

January 31. As Robert Owen, the well-known socialist, was 
lecturing in the Lecture Room, Newcastle, an Irishman attempted 
to reply to the statements of the lecturer. He was, however, 
ejected, upon which he collected a number of his countrymen, 
who commenced an attack upon the doors of the building with 
sticks, broken bed- posts, chair legs, &c. In a short time they 
forced an entrance, and soon compelled the audience to retreat 
through the doors and windows. The Irishmen were satisfied 
with this victory, and did not commit any serious personal injury. 

February 2. A man named Chapman, who was committed 
to Newcastle Gaol for trial, contrived to escape from that 
building. After scaling the wall of the prisoners' yard, he 
fastened two short ladders together with some rope used for drying 


clothes, by which he reached the top of the outer wall. He then 
lowered himself down with the remainder of the rope and escaped. 
Five others, who attempted to perform the same daring feat, were 
captured in the garden. 

1843 (February 3). A tremendous storm of wind arose this even- 
ing, and continued during the night, doing great damage. A stack 
of chimneys was blown through the roof of Mr. Elliott's house 
in Eldon-street, Newcastle, doing considerable damage to the 
furniture. The houses of Mr. Penman, Percy-street, Mr. G. 
Hodgson, Forth, and Mr. Dixon, Blandford-street, were partially 
unroofed. At Arthur's Hill, in Edward-street, a chimney, belonging 
to the house of Mr. Holmes, was blown down, and the materials 
broke through the roof, and buried Mrs. Holmes who was sitting 
at breakfast in the ruins. Two of her ribs were broken, and she 
was otherwise much bruised. At South Shields, in King-street, a 
woman named Bell was killed by the falling of a signboard ; and 
a chapel in Cuthbert-street was almost totally destroyed. At 
Brockley Whins the extensive wooden sheds of the Brandling 
Junction Railway were completely carried away by the violence of 
the wind. In Dockwray square, North Shields, a chimney fell 
through the roof of the house of Henry Dale, esq., causing the 
utmost alarm and confusion. The shops were closed until near 
twelve o'clock, and the streets were deserted from dread of the 
falling missiles. At Spital Tongues the end of a house was com- 
pletely blown in ; and a house in Church-street, Gateshead, was 
levelled with the ground. The destruction of trees throughout the 
country was exceedingly great, several hundreds being uprooted in 
Hulne Park, Alnwick, alone, Indeed, every town and village in 
the two counties suffered more or less during the gale. Two 
vessels, the Rob Roy and the Blucher, were blown on shore at 
Newbiggen, and every soul on board of them perished. The 
fishermen's boats at Hauxby were completely destroyed, and much 
damage was done to shipping all along the coast. 

February 6. The fiftieth anniversary of the Newcastle Literary 
and Philosophical Society was celebrated by a dinner in the 
Assembly Rooms. Dr. Headlam presided, and Mr. J. Clayton 
and Mr. J. Adamson officiated as vice-chairmen. 

February 13, A silver snuff-box, containing 3 105., was 
presented to William Wheeler, by the members of the North 
Shields district of Oddfellows, in testimony of their appreciation 
of his heroic conduct in rescuingiour seamen, wrecked in the brig 
Percy, on Tynemouth Rocks. Wheeler also received presents 
from several Courts of Foresters. 

February 13. An extraordinary case of dropsy of the uterus 
presented itself in a cow, the property of Mr. Hopps, Bent 
House, near Durham. This day the animal was operated upon 
by Mr. C. J. Hubbick, veterinary surgeon, when water to the 
amount of 28 gallons was taken from her. 

February 18. Died, at South Shields, aged 104, Mrs. Sarah 



A.D. 1843.] 

1843 (February 21). William Kussell,esq.,of Brancepeth Castle, 
gave a splendid entertainment to the nobility and gentry of that 
neighbourhood. There was a dinner party, to which 170 sat 
down, after which there was a grand fancy dress hall. The ball 
was opened with a quadrille costumee, composed of eight couple, 
in the national dresses of as many different countries, which had a 
very imposing effect. 


February 28. Married, fit Shrivenham, the Hon. Thomas 
Liddell, second son of Lord Ravensworth, to Caroline, daughter 
of the fifth Viscount Barrington. 

March 10. A melancholy case of stabbing occurred in the 
neighbourhood of Rothbury, which occasioned the death of 
William Weatherstone, of Forest Burn Bar. The deceased, in 
company with George Hindhaugh, of Coldside ; George Brown, 
of Ward's Hill ; James Gibson, of Hesleyhirst ; and Thomas 
Arkle, of Crook, all tenants of the Duke of Northumberland, left 
Rothbury on their return home, having previously indulged rather 
freely in certain fluids. On arriving at a place called Garby 
Bank, about a mile and a half from Rothbury, Weatherstone and 
Hindhaugh commenced fighting. After a few blows had been 
exchanged, Hindhaugh was seen by Brown to draw a knife and 
strike Weatherstone in the thigh, who immediately fell. Brown 
then interfered, and lifted the deceased, who was bleeding from a 
fearful wound in the groin. Whilst he was in the act of doing 


this, Himlhaugh, who had gone forward a few yards, returned, 
and cut Brown severely in the thigh. Weatherstone almost imme- 
diately expired from loss of blood. Hindhaugh was tried at the 
ensuing assizes, and sentenced to seven years' transportation. 

l&3(April5). An explosion of fire-damptook place at Stormont 
Main Colliery, Wreokenton, near Gateshead, the property of 
J. Grace, esq., and Partners, by which twenty-seven men and 
boys lost their lives. It appeared that there had been much foul 
air in the pit for some days previous, and the men had been advised 
to use extreme care. A subscription was entered into for the 
widows and children left destitute by the calamity, and a consider- 
able sum raised for their support. 

April 7. The following remarkable occurrence, in which 
a steamer was stolen and afterwards wrecked attended with 
loss of life took place at Tynemouth, near North Shields. At 
daybreak, some pilots, on the look-out at the entrance of the river, 
discovered a vessel amongst the rocks called the Black Middens, 
which proved to be the Charles Williams steamer, belonging to 
Messrs. Richardson and Co., coal merchants, South Shields. The 
alarm was instantly raised, and the lifeboat was manned, when, 
before arriving alongside, much surprise was evinced at finding 
only one man on board, who was safely taken out of the wreck 
and conveyed ashore. Immediately on landing he attempted to go 
away without giving any account as to the manner in which the 
steamer was wrecked, but the Customs officer detained him, and, 
after being in custody some time, he admitted having, with another 
man, stolen the steamer from her moorings in the Tyne. The 
other man, he said, jumped overboard to swim to the rocks, but he 
suspected he had been drowned, for he saw nothing more of him. 
The man supposed to be drowned was a discarded son of the owner 
of the boat. 

April 12. A commission de lunatico inquirendo, under the 
authority of the great seal, was opened at Alnwick, for the 
purpose of inquiring into the state of mind of Miss Elizabeth 
Gallon. The cause created great interest, and, after a protracted 
investigation, which lasted five days, the jury returned their 
verdict "That Miss Gallon was of unsound mind, and had been 
so since January the 1st, 1812." The lady was 75 years of age, 
and possesed of considerable property. 

April 20. Married, at Chester-le-Street, Henry, eldest son 
of Sir John Fife, of Newcastle, to Lucy, eldest daughter of John 
Cookson, esq., of Whitehill, Durham. Great rejoicing took place 
at Chester-le-Street on the occasion ; banners were hung from 
almost every house in the town, and nearly 2,000 of the inhabitants 
joined in the marriage procession. 

April 22. Hexhain and its neighbourhood were visited by a 
thunderstorm of considerable violence. A farm-house, at Grind- 
ridge, about four miles from Hexham, occupied by Mr. Walter 
Dodd, was struck by the electric fluid, which destroyed the furni- 
ture and window frames, the house being also much shattered and 


left almost in ruins. The family escaped unhurt. A goose, which 
was sitting upon some eggs in the back kitchen, had the eggs and 
the nest entirely destroyed, but was itself uninjured. 

1843 (April 24). This morning, it was discovered that a sailor, 
named William Ferry, residing on the Quayside, Monkwearmouth, 
had murdered his wife, Hannah Ferry, and daughter, aged 14 
years. The unfortunate man had been for some time confined in 
a lunatic asylum at Gateshead Fell, but had escaped two days 
previous to the occurrence. 

May 3. This afternoon, a Scotchman, of the name of Robert 
Crombier, precipitated himself into the Tyne from the topsail 
yard of a vessel lying opposite the Custom House. The height 
was about 80 feet. This daring feat was accomplished without 
any injury being sustained, and was repeated on the following day r 
May 13, a similar feat was accomplished in Shields Harbour, by a 
Scotch seaman, named James Soulsby, who smoked a pipe 
throughout the performance. 

May 25. Died, suddenly, at his residence, Hengate, Dar- 
lington, aged 38, C. Wetherall, esq., solicitor. He weighed 33 
stones when thirty years of age, and his coffin, which was 7 feet 
6 inches long, 2 feet 5 inches deep, and 3 feet 2 inches across the 
breast, weighed, with the body, fifty-eight stones. Before this 
immense burthen could be removed for interment, it was necessary 
to take out a large bow window in the deceased's house. 

June 26. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. Ramsay's br h Moss- 
trooper. The Gold Cup was won by Mr. Cuthbert's br f Queen 
of the Tyne. 

July 1. A fire of a most alarming description broke out 
near midnight in the extensive raff-yard of Messrs. R. Todd and 
Company, in Pandon, Newcastle, Vast crowds from all quarters, 
in and around Newcastle, came rushing towards the blazing mass. 
People from the market-places, from the busy streets, full of their 
Saturday evening throng, from the theatre, from the " shows," 
and, more than all, from the public-houses and taprooms, hurried, 
in the wildest consternation, in the direction of the flames. The 
timber-yard is the lowest point of a large extent of ground, and 
surrounding it, in almost every direction, are considerable heights, 
standing on which a full view could be obtained of all that was 
going on below the wild ocean of fire heaving and roaring as if 
no human effort could ever stay its fury while a brightness like 
that of noonday lay on the houses and the whole wide space 
around it. Eight houses in New Pandon-street were also set on 
fire by the intense heat, and completely gutted, and the destruction 
of the whole of that street appeared so probable, that it was deter- 
mined to pull down a house in order to arrest the progress of the 
flames, when, fortunately, the wind changed, and further danger 
was averted. Between twelve and one o'clock was the time when, 
the fire might be said to have been at the worst, and its strength 
was not much spent till past two. About the former period the 



spectacle presented was terribly beautiful; the brilliancy of the 
flames, the reflection of which was seen in every direction for 
twenty miles, exceeded that of any previous fire in Newcastle ; and 
the singular scene presented by the many thousands of spectators 
assembled as in an amphitheatre on the heights which surround the 
spot, had a most remarkable effect. Eight public and private fire- 
engines were on the spot at an early period, but it was not until 
four o'clock that the fire was subdued. No less than ninety-nine 
persons were rendered nearly destitute by the loss of their clothing 
and furniture in this sad catastrophe. It was, indeed, a most 
lamentable sight to see the poor people rushing out of their houses 
in New Pandon-street and along Pandon-bank half-naked 
children, turned out of their beds, and screaming in the wildest 
terror, and their hastily-dressed and scarcely less affrighted mothers 
running and crying in every direction, while the men, nearly as 
much confused, ran about trying in the best manner they could to> 
save their little property. The premises had been used as a timber- 
yard for 150 years, and their contents at the time of the fire were 
yalued at 2,000. The total damage was estimated at 12,000. 
Mr. Pringle, the chief clerk of the establishment, was a very great 
sufferer, inasmuch as himself and sisters lost all they possessed. 
On the fire being discovered they had to leave their house, in order 
to save their lives, without the necessary clothing. Mr. Pringle 
enjoyed the respect and confidence of his employer, and was 
generally esteemed. He had been in the establishment for 29 
years, and his father was a servant in the same office for the long 
period of 50 years. A public meeting was held, and the sum of 
387 was subscribed for the relief of the sufferers. 

184S (July 7.> Died, at his house in Pilgrim- street, Newcastle, 
the Rev. James Worswick, aged 73> for forty-eight years minister 
of the Roman Catholic Chapel in that town. He was the son of 
an eminent banker at Lancaster, but preferring to labour for others 
rather than aggrandize himself, he renounced the means of 
accumulating wealth, and made choice of the priesthood, that he- 
might spend his life in the service of his church. His liberal 
expenditure amongst the poor, extensive acquirements, and pre- 
possessing manners, made him beloved and respected by all who 
knew him. July 13, his interment took place, in the then 
unfinished church in Clayton-street, and was attended by many 
thousands of persons, who walked in procession from Pilgrim- 
street to the place of sepulture. 

July 12. The 37th Regiment of Infantry, stationed at 
Newcastle Barracks, was reviewed on the Town Moor by Sir A. 
Duff, general of the district, who was accompanied by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Higgins and a splendid staff. After the review the 
regiment formed into square, in the centre of which were the 
General, Colonel Sir J. M. Wallace, Lieutenant-Colonel Bradshaw, 
Mayor, &c., &c., and new colours having been consecrated by 
the Rev. W. Dodd, they were presented to the regiment by the 
general in an appropriate address. The regiment was raised in, 

A.&. 1843.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 179 

1702, and embarked for Holland 1703, and joined the Duke of 
Maryborough's army; fought at the battle of Schnotterbugh on the 
2nd of July, 1704, and at the battle of Blenheim on the 13th of 
August, 1704; served at the memorable battle of Ramillies, 23rd 
May, 1706 ; formed part of landing brigade at the battle of 
Oudernarde, llth July, 1708, and particularly distinguished 
themselves on that occasion ; were engaged at the siege of 
Tournay, in 1709; and at the sanguinary battle of Malplagnet, 
llth of September, 1709; formed part of the expedition against 
Lubec in 1711 ; served in Flanders in 1712, under the Duke of 
Ormond ; were at the battle of Dettingen, 1 743, under King 
George the Second and the Earl of Stair ; were at the battle of 
Fontenoy in 1745 ; highly distinguished themselves at the battle 
of Minden, 1st August, 1759, and, in consequence, had the word 
Minden inscribed on their colours ; were at the battle of Kirch 
Denkern, 15th July, 1761 ; were at the battle of Grabenstein in 
1762; were at the capture of Lond Island,. in America, 1777; 
served in North America during the whole of the war and after 
the peace in 1783; embarked for Holland, 1793; served under 
the Duke of York, 1793 and 1794 ; were at the battle of Monora, 
17th and 18th May, 1794 ; highly distinguished themselves in an 
action fought near Tournay, on the 22nd of May, 1 794 ; and, in 
consequence, had the word Tournay inscribed on the colours ; in 
short, all throughout the Peninsula War, and up to this^time, 
the 37th Regiment has uniformly distinguished itself in a very 
exemplary manner. 

1843 (July 20). This afternoon, at three o'clock, the Martello, 
Hull and Leith Steam Packet Company's steamer, arrived at the 
Granton Pier, bringing the sad tidings of the total loss of the 
Pegasus, Hull steamer, belonging to the same company. The 
vessel struck on the Goldstone Rock, near the Farn Islands, and 
not far distant from the spot where the Forfarshire experienced a 
similar fate about six years previously (see page 97). The sudden 
shock experienced, at a time when every one on board, from the 
calmness of the evening and the smoothness of the sea, felt the 
most perfect security, at once made them alive to the imminence 
of the danger. The boats were immediately lowered, but were soon 
swamped by the crowd of persons who rushed into them About 
five o'clock a.m., the Martello descried the wreck, and succeeded 
in saving six persons, the only survivors who were floating about 
on pieces of timber, &c., much exhausted. At the time of the 
accident, there were twenty-three steerage and eighteen cabin pas- 
sengers, besides a crew of fourteen men, in the ill-fated vessel, 
consequently forty-nine persons lost their lives. A Mr. Baillie, 
one of the passengers saved, stated, that previous to the foundering 
of the vessel, Mr. Mackenzie, a minister, called on those around him 
to engage in prayer, which we all did most heartily. One lady was 
standing near me at the time with two children, I heard her calmly 
resign her soul to the Almighty, while her two little children, about 
four years of age, were prattling together, evidently ignorant of 


any danger. I could stand this scene no longer, the ship was just 
sinking, so I sprang into the sea. Mr. Brown, the mate, stated, 
that he was drawn under the water with the suction of the ship, 
and when he rose again he saw the master swimming. The sea, 
at this time, was covered with the sufferers in their last mental 
agony, contending with the waves, and he described the scene as 
most fearful, shrieks and prayers were heard on every side, and 
ever and anon, some wretched sufferer disappeared, and was 
swallowed up in the great inexorable. The Pegasus was quite 
out of her track, but from what cause was not ascertained. 

1843 (August 7). The long talked of Tyne Regatta took place 
at the Low Lights, North Shields, and the weather being fine, the 
sports drew together an immense concourse of spectators. Mr. 
Joseph Straker was commodore and Mr. T. Garbutt conductor. 
The amusements concluded on the 8th, by a ball at the Golden 
Lion Inn, South Shields, which was led off by Mrs. Eddowes and 
R. Ingham, esq. 

August 19. A piece of very handsome plate, manufactured 
by Messrs. Reid and Sons, Newcastle, was presented to Mr. 
Thomas Teasdale, by the miners, workmen, and Mends of the 
Silver Tongue Mine Adventure, at Greenhead Derwent. 

August 24. The tide was so low at the mouth of the Tyne, 
that a pilot, named Robert Young, waded across the Bar, from the 
north to the south side. Another very low tide occurred September 
6th, 1846, when three pilots walked across the river, from the north 
to the south side. See Sykes, August 26th, 1824. 

October 10. Died, at Wallsend, in the county of Northum- 
berland, in the 70th year of his age, John Buddie, esq. The 
deceased was born at Kyo, near Tanfield, Durham, his father 
being then the schoolmaster at that place, though ultimately the 
manager of the celebrated Wallsend Colliery, a situation in which 
his son succeeded him in 1806. As a mining engineer and colliery 
manager, Mr. Buddie had long stood in the front rank of his 
profession, and the extensive and varied scientific knowledge which 
he possessed, and the almost unrivalled skill and judgment with 
which he applied that knowledge to actual practice, procured for 
him the highest professional reputation, not only in this country, 
but abroad. His sterling honesty and unaffected kindness of 
heart caused him to be loved and respected by his friends, and the 
liberality with which he privately bestowed large sums in acts of 
charity will be long and gratefully remembered by those numerous 
individuals who were the objects of his unostentatious benevolence. 
Mr. Buddie left a fortune of not less than 150,000, as a monu- 
ment of his skill and enterprize. October 16th, the remains of the 
deceased were interred at Benwell. Sixty gentlemen on horseback 
preceded the hearse, which was followed by nine mourning 
coaches, upwards of sixty private carriages, and a great number 
of workmen from various collieries. 

October 21. The pitmen of Northumberland and Durham 
held a meeting at Shadon Hill, for the purpose of presenting 


Thomas Slingsby Buncombe, esq., M.P., with an address expres- 
sive of their high admiration of his zealous and unwearied 
advocacy of the interests of the people. At least 25,000 persons 
were present on the occasion. 

1843 (October 27). This morning one of the boilers attached to 
the Spital Tongues Colliery exploded, when the engineman was 
thrown a considerable distance and shortly afterwards expired. 

November 3. Three massive doors were completed in New- 
castle for the York Minster, and sent off this day. The three 
were alike, and measured sixteen feet in height and six and a half 
feet in breadth. They were executed by Mr. James Wallace, 
builder, and Mr. R. S. Scott, carver, both of Newcastle, and their 
elegant workmanship was admired by all who saw them. 

November 9. The following gentlemen were elected chief 
magistrates of the boroughs in Northumberland and Durham ; 
Newcastle Sir John Fife; William Cookson, esq., sheriff. 
Gateshead William Kenmir, esq. Sunderland Robert Burdon 
Cay, esq. Durham Robert Henry Allan, esq. Stockton 
Charles Trotter, esq. Morpeth Robert Hawdon, esq. Berwick 
Patrick Clay, esq, ; George Johnston, esq., sheriff. 

November 21. One of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway 
omnibusses was standing at the station, having three inside 
passengers, the driver being absent. All at once the horses bolted 
off and galloped along Marlborough-street, Clayton-street, Market- 
street, and Grey-street, taking all the turns with care, and, although 
it is well known that the entrance to the yard of the Turk's Head 
is so narrow as to require, cautious driving to take in a carriage, 
yet the horses at full speed entered the yard, and made a full stop 
at the stable door, without doing any material injury. It appears 
they took a wide sweep, so as to bring the carriage almost parallel 
with the yard, before entering. 

November 23. Died, at Wingates, near Morpeth, Mr. Thomas 
Hume, aged 87. The deceased and his forefathers had been 
tenants upon the same farm for 439 years, an ancestor having held 
it in 1411, when the estate was purchased by Roger de Thornton. 

December 7. The members and other friends of the Master 
Mariners' Asylum, at South Shields, assembled at the Seamen's 
Hall, R. Anderson, esq., in the chair, and after the statement 
of their accounts were read, they walked in procession, preceded 
by a band of music, amidst a large concourse of spectators, 
to an eminence near the sea, where the foundation-stone of the 
asylum was laid by Mr. Anderson. The site, more than an acre, 
was presented by R. Ingharn, esq , and Dr. Winterbottom supplied 
the society with funds for building four cottages. A collation was 
provided for the Master Mariners' Society and their friends in the 
Seamen's Hall, Fowler-street, to which the party returned, after 
the ceremony. In 1846, seventeen additional cottages had been 
built at the expense of Dr. Winterbottom, who has long been a 
munificent friend to all the institutions in the neighbourhood. 
Matthew Popple well, esq., also became a liberal subscriber to the 


(Daxmttr 27;. The brethren of the St. Hilda Lodge 
292, of Free and Accepted Masons, Sonihaie^^tto anniver- 
sary festival, in their lodge room, at Brother Towers', Golden Lion 
Hotel, Kins-street, when the following officers were duly installed 
foV^msm^Tyear:- T. B. Qyston, esq. W.AL ; R. Anderson, 
so-, > Gregory, esq- J. VT. : K. >L Kelly, esq., treasurer; 

J CumminV secretarv*: G. D. Hall, S.D. ; W. Ripon. J.D. : J. 
Marshall, J.G. ; W. "Preston, SJS. ; H. Hewison, J.S. ; and J. 
Fancor, trier. The ceremonies of the day being concluded, a 
namerow company sat down to an excellent dinner and wines of 

l&U (January 23). As Wilfiam Thompson, a man in the 
employment of Mr. Thomas Muers, of Warkworth Mills, was 
proceeding home, he was attacked by three men, who were 
secreted in the wood nearly opposite the Hermitage. It being 
exceedingly dark he could not identify the party, but set to work 
in earnest to defend h mag tf and succeeded in pitching one of them 

into the river Coquet. The other two took to their heels shouting 
tor Thompson to take their companion out of the water or he 

be drowned. Thompson, with die assistance of a branch, 
drowned man 

ashore, when it tamed out to be 
of the name of Smaiks, who had, with another 
youth nsmH Wear, been pursoaded to the spot by a notorious 
tObw rf :- BHM rf T mi Itmfe, vna had ^en :ie ic.-ror of 

for some time. 

Died, in Newcastle, Mr. Joseph Welch. The 
the Grey Column, in Newcastle, the Ouse- 
Viadnct, the Beffingham Bridge on the Tvne, Ac. His 

Jaxvary 29. This evening, a fire broke out in the stack-yard 

::" M \- :.--.- .: >-v .". . .". . ':- - ':. : . ^.-~ -. <..i5:r 
lift :::r had svilmmlff b-^- :he work of aa 
A:: ; . al hW 

Oxley, was transported for fife for the 

16. Died, at Heworth, Durham, in his 88th year, 
Anthony Basterby, esq. He 

trader La the'to^n of Neweaatia, 

with his late partner, Mr. George Doableday, the 


have si ace been carried to so great an extent on the Tvne, On 
the passing of the Municipal Reform Bill in 1855, Mr. Easterby 
of the Town Council, and subsequently an 
for the town and county of Newcastle, 
for a few years, increasing age 

Jfarca 14. A murder of a most revolting 
perpetrated in Blandford-street, Newcastle, by 
amed Mark Sherwood, on the body of Ann Sherwood, his wife. 
The parties occupied two underground rooms in 
4 the eril of porerty in coamoon was aggraTated by the< 


habits of Sherwood. It appeared that he had been a soldier in the 
Artillery, and enjoyed a small pension ; and having thus frequent 
means of gratifying hi? propensity, there was little domestic peace. 
The parties were heard quarrelling on the previous day. and the 
woman then used language which would aggravate the most placid 
and least jealous of husbands. This morning, suspicion being 
excited by the silence which prevailed in their apartments, Ann 
Sutherland, niece of the murdered woman, borrowed a key of 
Walter Ormston. who lived in an adjoining house, with which she 
succeeded in obtaining an entrance, when the woman was found 
lyin^ dead upon the floor, her head nearly severed from her body, 
and beside her lay Sherwood, also apparently dead, but in reality 
only insensible from the effects of whisky. Terrified as she was, 
Sutherland managed to alarm the neighbours. Information was 
communicated to Inspector Little, at the Westgate Police-station, 
and in a very short space of time police were on the spot, almost 
directly followed by Messrs. Carr and Taylor, surgeons. Ann 
Sherwood, the wife, on examination, presented an appearance truly 
horrifying. In her throat were two deep and frightful gashes, 
from which blood had necessarily flowed in profusion. Two other 
dreadful wounds were in the left jaw. These had apparently been 
inflicted in the midst of a struggle, for that there had been a 
struggle was proved by the cuts and blood which were on the 
hands, the thumb of one of which was nearly severed. Attention 
was next turned to Sherwood himself. He was still alive, but in 
a state of drunken stupefaction so complete, and in such a scene 
so shocking, that death seemed for a time to have the mastery. 
The stomach-pump was applied with vigour, and drew off an 
almost incredible quantity of whisky. On the suggestion of Dr. 
White, mustard blisters were applied to his legs and feet, and this 
application was followed by immediate good results. At the 
Summer Assizes, before Chief Baron Pollock, Sherwood was tried 
and convicted of the murder, and sentenced to be executed, but 
certain circumstances in the case led several influential persons in 
the town and neighbourhood to petition for a commutation of the 
sentence to transportation for life. Their applications, however, 
were not successful and the execution took place on the Town 
Moor on the 23rd August following. On examining the premises 
the police found in the adjoining room a still, with every apparatus 
necessary for the illicit manufacture of spirit. 

l^ii (March IS). An incendiary fire occurred in the stack-yard 
of Mr. George Dodds, at Coxlodge, near Newcastle, when the 
whole of the stacks were destroyed. Another attempt to set 
fire to the farm buildings was made on the 27th, but without 
effect. A reward of 200 was offered for the discovery of the 

April 5. The bonds by which the Northumberland and 
Durham pitmen were engaged to their employers expired this day, 
and the men, generally, refused to renew them. On the 8th, a 
meeting, held at Black Fell, was attended by upwards of 30,000 


pitmen, and it was then determined to adhere to the terms offered 
to, but refused by, the masters. One of the most singular 
conditions demanded by the men, was, that they should be secured 
work yielding 15s. for every week throughout the year, but that 
they should not, on any account, be required to work for more 
than 3s. per day. This self-imposed restriction, they supposed, 
would equalize the demand for labour throughout the district and 
prevent, in future, any portion of their body from being thrown 
out of employment. According to a return published at the time, 
the following were the numbers of men employed in the several 
districts, nearly all of whom " struck" : the Tyne, 15,556; 
Blyth, 1,031 ; the Wear, 13,172 ; the Tees, 4,211 ; Total, 33,970. 
This disastrous " strike" continued during five months and caused 
great and general depression in the trade of the town and neigh- 
bourhood. The colliers finally resumed employment without 
obtaining the objects for which the " strike" was commenced. The 
loss to the district was estimated at upwards of half a million 

1844 (April II). Died, at Berwick, at the extraordinary age of 
119 years, James Stewart, better known in the neighbourhood 
as Jamie Strength. The deceased was born in America, but 
arrived in England at an early age, and was present at the battle 
of Preston Pans. Shortly after he enlisted in a Highland regiment, 
and was at the capture of Quebec by General Wolfe. He 
afterwards entered the navy, and was with Rodney in his great 
victory over the Comte de Grasse. After obtaining his discharge 
he came to Berwick, and continued ever after to reside in the 
neighbourhood, supporting himself by his fiddle and by exhibiting 
feats of almost supernatural strength. He had had five wives and 
twenty-seven children, several of whom died in the service of their 
country. His death was caused by a fall, which severely injured 
his vertebra, 

April 13. As Humble Lamb, esq., a highly-respected magis- 
trate of Northumberland and Durham, was walking in Pilgrim- 
street, Newcastle, he was suddenly attacked with a fit of apoplexy 
and died instantaneously. He was in his 71st year. 

April 17. Mr. William Maughan, aged 39, a respectable 
farmer, residing in Westoe, hung himself under a shed belonging 
to Mr. Tony Walker, at Barn. 

April. Sixty years ago a pair of bluecaps built their nest in 
a large stone bottle, which had been left to drain, between the 
lower boughs of a fruit tree, in the garden of Mr. Callinder, 
farmer, near Stockton. Every year since that period a pair of 
bluecaps have regularly built a nest and reared their progeny in 
the same bottle, and during this month the little creatures were 
again busily employed in constructing a nest in their old domicile. 

April. About the end of this month the "Scotsman" an 
Edinburgh newspaper, stated that a large vessel was then loading 
coal at Leith for Newcastle, in consequence of the pitmen's strike, 
and "duff," very small coal, which had hitherto been nearly 
worthless, rose to a high price. 


1844 (May 22> Died, at Birling, near Warkworth, aged 82, 
Henry Cramlington, esq., the last of an ancient Northumberland 
family. Mr. Cramlington was three times mayor of Newcastle. 

May 27, The annual Oddfellows' procession took place in 
Newcastle, with the usual display of banners and paraphernalia, 
and was attended by deputies from nearly every town in the 
kingdom. James Mansfield, esq., Grand Master, presided at the 
meeting held in the Spital. The order was stated to have 240,000 
members, with an annual income of 270,000. On the 28th the 
Music Hall was comfortably filled by members of the order, who 
sat down to a substantial supper. Sir John Fife, the mayor, 
presided, with George Crawshay, esq., Gateshead, as vice- 

May. During this month the Emperor of Russia presented to 
John Thomas Carr, esq., Russian Vice-Consul for this port, 
another splendid ring, as an acknowledgment for his activity and 
skill in superintending the building of vessels in this country. The 
ring is of a most superb and costly description, being very large, 
and composed principally of diamonds, several of which are of 
great size and brilliance. In the centre is the imperial N, set on 
blue enamel. 

June 12. Mr. Belaney, a surgeon, who had for some time 
resided at North Sunderland, and who was well known in the 
North of England in connection with the revival of falconry as an 
amusement, was this day taken into custody, in London, under 
suspicion of having poisoned his wife, a young and lovely woman, 
of very respectable connections. This suspicion was intensified by 
the fact that Mrs. Belaney's mother, Mrs. Skelly, died very 
suddenly a few months before, whilst residing with Belaney, at 
North Sunderland, and that Mrs. Skelly's property, which was 
considerable, then passed to her daughter. Belaney stated that 
he had been in the habit of taking prussio acid for some peculiar 
derangement of the stomach, that in taking a dose he had broken 
the bottle containing it, and had, in consequence, poured a portion 
of the liquid into a tumbler in his bed-room, and that his wife, in 
his absence in search of another bottle, had poured water into the 
glass and drunk of the contents. The most suspicious circum- 
stances against him were that he had written letters to his friends 
in the North, informing them that Mrs. Belaney had been taken 
suddenly and seriously ill, and that she was not expected to 
recover, when, in fact, she was in her usual health ; and these 
communications were followed by others stating that Mrs. Belaney 
could not survive the night, and that she was attended by three of 
the first medical men in London, when, at the same time, she must 
have been dead some hours. A Captain Clark, when questioned 
by one of the jurors at the inquest as to his opinion of the matter, 
said that the silence which Mr. Belaney preserved up to the 
Monday night with respect to the prussic acid would have tended 
to excite his suspicions, did he not know that gentleman to be most 
kind and humane, as he had seen him mourn with unaffected grief 

A 1 


the death of a favourite falcon, which had been presented to him 
by the Duke of St. Albans. He thought it impossible, and contrary 
to human nature, that one so kind and good could wilfully 
administer poison to a wife so kind and gentle, and to whom he 
appeared so deeply attached. Captain Clark wept as he bore this 
testimony to the disposition of his friend. The coroner's verdict 
resulted in a verdict of wilful murder, but, at the conclusion of the 
trial, August 22nd, a verdict of not guilty was returned. The 
public feeling in North Sunderland, to which Mr. Belaney returned 
after the trial, was evinced in the most marked and emphatic 
manner. On September the 16th, a great crowd of persons, 
carrying an effigy, assembled in front of his house. This annoyed 
him so much that he fired a pistol amongst them, and then made 
his escape by the back of the premises. The result was the total 
destruction of his house and furniture, the mob having sacked the 
house, broken up the furniture, and then set fire to the whole. 

1844 (June 18). This day will henceforth be a day doubly 
memorable. Long associated with one of the most brilliant 
triumphs of British arms and courage, it will now be remembered 
as the anniversary of the more praiseworthy success of skill and 
industry. The Newcastle and Darlington Railway, the last link 
hi the railway communication between London and Newcastle was 
this day opened to the public. At nine o'clock in the morning 
three trains, each containing six carriages, started from the 
Brandling Junction, at Gateshead, and arrived at Darlington at 
twenty minutes past eleven. At twenty minutes to one an 
imposing train of twenty-one carriages arrived at York with Mr. 
Hudson and a numerous party of directors and shareholders. 
Almost immediately afterwards several of the directors of the 
London and Birmingham line, the Hon. H. T. Liddell, M.P., and 
other influential gentlemen, reached the station in a special train 
from London, having left Euston-square about five o'clock the 
same morning. An hour and a quarter were consumed by 
stoppages, so that the whole distance was actually accomplished in 
six hours and forty-five minutes. The party brought down several 
copies of the " Morning Herald," containing an important debate 
in the House of Commons, which had concluded at half-past one 
o'clock the same morning. One immense train was then formed, 
headed by three powerful engines, and, at one o'clock, the proces- 
sion moved towards Newcastle, and arrived at Gateshead at 
twenty-four minutes past two in the afternoon, amidst the firing of 
cannon and the greeting of assembled thousands. The route was 
over 83 miles of the London and Birmingham Railway, to Rugby ; 
49| miles of the Midland Counties Railway, to Derby; 63 miles 
of the North Midland Railway, to Normanton ; 23| miles of the 
York and North Midland Railway, to York ; 45 miles of the Great 
North of England Railway, to Darlington; 27| miles of the 
Newcastle and Darlington Railway, to Washington ; 5^ miles of 
Ppntop and South Shields Railway, to Brockley Whins ; and 6 J 
miles of the Brandling Junction Railway, to Gateshead. In the 


evening about 350 gentlemen dined in the Assembly Rooms, under 
the presidency of George Hudson, esq., chairman of the line, tho 
vice-chairs being occupied by Messrs. N. Plews, R. Davies, E. 
Oxley, and C. Tee. It was stated during the evening that the new- 
line had cost only 20,000 a mile. 

1844 (June 24J. TheNewcastle Races commenced this day. The 
Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. H. Johnstone's br c The 
Era (Lye) ; Best of Three, second ; Bay Momus, third, and 
Queen of the Tyne, fourth The Gold Cup was won by Mr. M. 
Bell's b m Alice Hawthorne (Templeman), beating Mr. J. Bell's 
ch c Winesour. 

June 26, At the time that the horses were gathering for 
the Northumberland Plate a most frightful accident took place, 
by which the limbs of several individuals were fractured. A 
wooden stand, near the winning chair, gave way, whilst crowded 
with spectators, when a dreadful scene of confusion followed. It 
would be impossible to give anything like a correct account of the 
numerous bruises and fractures received. The following are a 
few of the sufferers that were conveyed to the Infirmary, and 
instantly attended to by Dr. Taylor the house surgeon : Mr. 
George Oliver, agent, New Bridge-street, Newcastle, had his 
thigh bone broken ; William Ballance, Blaydon, had his leg 
broken; John Hall, Lisle-street, Newcastle, had his right arm 
and left leg broken ; Henry Stephenson, Manor-chare, Newcastle, 
had his left leg broken ; Thomas Hodgson, Albion-street, New- 
castle, had his right leg broken ; William Rowell, Thornton-street, 
Newcastle, had his right leg broken, and Thomas Lowthin, 
Gallowgate, Newcastle, had his right eye knocked out. 

June. During this month, the following appeared in the list 
of patents : John Lee, esq., of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, for 
improvements in obtaining products from sulphurets and other 
compounds containing sulphur, sealed the 30th of May, 6 months 
for enrolment ; Mr. Joseph Cowen, of Blaydon Burn, near New- 
castle-upon-Tyne, merchant, for improvements in making retorts 
for generating gas for illumination, sealed 4th June, 6 months for 

August 28. The Earl of Zetland, Grand Master of the Free- 
masons of England, laid the foundation-stone of a monument 
to the late Earl of Durham, on Pensher Hill, with great ceremony. 
The attendance of spectators was immense, at least 30,000 being 
present. The monument is of the Grecian order of architecture, 
and, in design, is an approximation to the Temple of Theseus. 
It is 100 feet long by 53 wide, the height being about 70 feet. 

September 10. The Queen and royal family sailed past the 
Durham and Northumberland coasts, on their way to Scotland, 
and the royal squadron was distinctly observed by crowds of 
spectators. The passage from London to Tynemouth (320 miles) 
was accomplished in twenty-nine hours, the quickest passage then 


lSU(September 28). An appalling explosion of fire-damp occurred 
at Haswell Colliery, in the county of Durham, this day, when 
ninety-five human beings were deprived of life. The explosion 
took place in the Button seam, almost immediately after a fall 
of stone from the roof which had liberated a vast quantity of 
gas. The number of men and boys usually employed in this part 
of the pit is about one hundred, and, when the explosion took 
place, there were ninety-nine down. The other four would also, 
without doubt, have perished had not the course of the explosive 
current been intercepted by some waggons laden with coals. 
Thirty-five of the men were married, and many of them left large 
families. On the 30th, 60 of the bodies were removed to South 
Hetton, and, in the church-yard of that village, consigned to the 
grave. On the following day, several others of the sufferers were 
interred at Easington and other villages. The pit the property 
of Messrs. Plummer, Taylor, and Co. had been seven years at 
work, and was considered a very safe one. Humanity immediately 
suggested the commencement of a subscription for the relief of 
the sufferers, and the sum received amounted to 4,265. 

September. About this time, H, G. Surtees, esq., purchased the 
manor and estate of Dinsdale, near Darlington, from the trustees 
of the Earl of Durham, for 40,000. The estate, which had 
formerly belonged to the family of Surtees, was purchased by 
W. Lambton, esq,, in the year 1770, for 15,000. 

October 8. A frightful accident occurred this morning, on 
the Brandling Junction Railway, near Brockley Whins. It 
arose from the collision of two engines, one of them attached to a 
carriage full of passengers (principally butchers), on its way from 
Shields to Gateshead. About two miles from Shields, an engine 
(the Leopard) was observed coming in an opposite direction, but, 
at so short a distance, owing to the curvature of the line at that 
part, that a collision appeared inevitable. The enginemen at 
once reversed the engines and leaped off, and, immediately after, 
the engines came into violent collision. Most of the passengers 
were stunned by the shock, all of them being thrown with great 
force against the partitions of the carriages. The next moment 
they found themselves careering away towards Shields at a 
tremendous rate. On arriving at the station in that town the 
empty carriages standing there were knocked to pieces, and the 
engine came in contact with a wall, the shock scattering .the 
passengers in all directions. Two men were killed, seventeen 
others received most extensive injuries. 

October 20. During the last session of parliament, an act 
was passed entitled, the "Detached Parts of Counties Act," 
which came into operation this day. By this enactment, Island- 
shire, Norhamshire, and Bedlingtonshire, in Northumberland, 
and the parish of Craik, in Yorkshire, were detached from the 
county of Durham and annexed to the counties in which they 
were locally situated. This alteration added 64,369 acres and a 


population (in 1861) of 24,903 to Northumberland, at the expense 
of her neighbour. 

1844 (October 28). Mr. W. G. Thompson, for 20 years reporter 
to the " Newcastle Chronicle," was, this day, found dead in the 
water closet attached to the Literary and Philosophical Institution 
in Newcastle, with his throat shockingly cut. He, had been 
missing from his home during the previous week, in thercourse of 
which, entrance to the closet was prevented by his having secured 
the key. The parties connected with the library repeatedly sent 
to the Chronicle office for the key, and it was only on finding 
that his friends had not seen him for so many days; that a 
suspicion of the painful fact entered the librarians mind. Besides 
very great professional ability, Mr. Thompson possessed consider- 
able poetical talent and literary attainments, and his contributions 
to various periodicals, both in prose and verse, were very generally 
admired. In one or two instances Christopher North paid a 
tribute to their worth by copying them into the pages of " Black- 
wood." He was 48 years of age. 

November 9. The following gentlemen were elected mayors 
and sheriffs in Northumberland and Durham: Newcastle 
Addison Langhorne Potter, esq., mayor ; John Featherstone 
Aytoun, esq., sheriff. Gateshead Thomas Cummins, esq. Dur- 
ham Robert Hoggett, esq, Sunderland James Allison, esq. 
Stockton William Skinner, esq. Morpeth Thomas Jobling, esq. 
Berwick John Ker Nicholson, esq., mayor ; George Gilchrist, 
esq., sheriff. 

November 11. General Tom Thumb, a dwarf, was exhibited 
in the Music Hall, Newcastle, on this and the four following 
days, and there, as elsewhere, drew immense crowds of spectators. 
The child, who was 25 inches in height and weighed only about 
15 lb., was drawn about the streets in a very handsome chariot 
of most diminutive dimensions. He was represented to be in his 
thirteenth year, by his exhibitor, Mr. Barnum. One of the most 
accomplished social humbugs existing at that time, although, in 
reality, he was only in his fifth year, which Mr. Barnum 
unblushingly acknowledged, afterwards, when lecturing in New- 
castle on " Humbug." 

November 20. As Mr. Hernaman, proprietor of the " New- 
castle Journal," was proceeding from his residence in Lovaine-row 
towards his office in Grey-street, he was accosted, near theBarras- 
bridge, by Mr. Addison Potter, jun. (eldest son of the then Mayor 
of Newcastle), who produced a copy of the journal of the previous 
week, and demanded the name of the author of a grossly offensive 
paragraph, which unjustly reflected on some part of Mr. Potter's 
family. Mr. Hernaman replied that this was not the place to 
answer such a question. Mr. Potter then introduced himself by 
name, and repeated his demand for the author to be given up to 
him instantly. Mr. Hernaman having again refused to comply 
with the request, Mr. Potter immediately began to apply a whip 
to the shoulders and legs of the former, whose cries attracted to 


the spot two or three gentlemen who were passing near, one of 
whom, in interfering, received an inadvertent cut or two. Mr. 
Potter apologized to the gentleman for the accident, at the same 
time observing to Mr. Hernaman that in case he should hereafter 
publish any insinuations respecting his (Mr. Potter's) family, he 
would punish him again in a similar manner. It is, however, 
proper to add that the authorship of the paragraph in question was 
generally supposed not to be with Mr, Hernaman. 

1844 (November 21> Died, in London, aged 87, Adam Askew, 
esq., of Redheugh, Gateshead, and Ellington, Northumberland. 

December 9. Mr. Hugh Ross, of the Victoria Inn, Balmbro', 
and Catherine Simm, his servant, after being present at a wedding 
party, fell into an open draw well, in a field near their house, and 
were drowned. The bodies were discovered on the following day, 
and this singular accident created much excitement in the neigh- 

December 10. The body of William Jacklin, one of the 
gamekeepers at Haggerstone, Northumberland, was found at the 
foot of Kyloe Craggs, over which he had fallen. Death had 
apparently been instantaneous. 

December 18. A skiff match took place on the river Tyne, 
for 100 a-side, between Robert Coombes, the champion of the 
Thames, and Henry Clasper, the champion of the Tyne, the 
distance being from Newcastle Bridge to Lemington Point. 
Clasper ran foul of a keel near the Skinner Burn, but though he 
lost much ground, Coombes only won at last by six boat lengths. 
The boats were built for the occasion, Coombes' weighing 43 lb., 
and Clasper's (which was built by himself) 49 lb. On the 
following day the friends of Coombes proposed that he and Clasper 
should, in the following week, try their skill again in another skiff 
race, and they offered to stake 200 on behalf of Coombes to 
Clasper's 100. The challenge was accepted, and 20 was at 
once deposited with Mr. Joseph Hair, Quayside, by Coombes, and 
10 by Clasper. The whole of the money was to be deposited 
within three days. Clasper's friends were ready with their money, 
but the other party failed to fulfil their part of the agreement, 
although the challenging party, and the result was that, after 
some disputing, the Clasper party claimed and obtained the 
forfeited 20. 

18A5 (January 3> A fatal and melancholy accident occurred 
at Arthur's-hill, Newcastle, on the evening of this day. Miss 
Dodds, of Richmond-street, was proceeding up William- street, at 
Arthur's hill, accompanied by a daughter of Mr. Belough, builder. 
At the top of the street there is an extensive stone quarry, entirely 
unprotected, and the night being dark, Miss Dodds was led to 
suppose the ground was solid, from the appearance of some lights 
immediately opposite. She unfortunately stepped over the edge, 
and was precipitated a depth of fifty feet. She was found at the 
bottom of the quarry, quite dead. 


1845 (January 13J. Mr. Edward Wood, a person who had 
performed the character of clown in the Christmas pantomime at 
Newcastle Theatre, sailed from the King's Meadows to Tyne Bridge 
in a washing-tub, drawn by four geese. The exhibition attracted 
an immense concourse of spectators. 

January 21. The Mayor of Newcastle (A. L. Potter, esq.) 
and Mrs. Mayoress gave a grand ball at the Assembly Rooms, 
which, for splendour and numbers, had not been equalled in this 
town since the meeting of the British Association. Up to near 
midnight parties continued to arrive, and before supper was 
announced 917 ladies and gentlemen were present amongst whom 
were the leading families of the town and neighbourhood. On the 
supper-room being opened, every requisite was presented to the 
guests in the greatest profusion. Indeed, the whole of the enter- 
tainment was got up on the most sumptuous scale. 

February 25, A company, which proposed to supply Newcastle 
and Gateshead with water from Whittle Dean Burn, purchased 
the works of the previously existing Water Company for 
55,000, being equal to a premium of 10 on each 25 share. 
The Whittle Dean scheme, which was projected by Mr, Grainger, 
received the royal assent June 30th, 1845, and the company took 
possession of the old reservoirs on the following August. 

March 21. The death of Mr. Alderman Batson took place 
this day, under very afflicting circumstances. Mr. Batson had 
driven his wife to Bellingham Church in his phaeton, and was 
returning to his residence, at Reedsmouth, when the horse became 
restive and overturned the vehicle down a precipitous hill, on the 
south side of the river Reed. Mr. Batson's head came in contact 
with a tree, and he was killed on the spot. Mrs. Batson, though 
bruised, sustained no serious injury. 

March 29. Died, in Newcastle, aged 83, the Rev. Edward 
Moises, M.A. The deceased was educated at the Grammar School 
in Newcastle, to the mastership of which he was appointed in 1787, 
on the resignation of his celebrated uncle, the Rev. Hugh Moises. 
He also held the office of morning lecturer of All Saints', and after- 
noon lecturer of St. Andrew's. In 1806 he succeeded his uncle in 
the mastership of the Virgin Mary Hospital, and in 1811 Lord 
Eldon presented him to the Vicarage of Hart. In the Oriental 
language few scholars have ever surpassed Mr. Moises. His 
"Persian Interpreter," published in 1792, and the "Arabic Bible," 
printed at the Newcastle Chronicle office in 1811, are striking 
proofs of his diligence and learning. 

April 3. Another of those calamities which from time to 
time occur in the colliery districts happened this evening, about 
six o'clock, in the West Moor Pit, near Newcastle, the property of 
Lord Ravensworth and Partners, which resulted in the sacrifice of 
ten human beings. At the time of the explosion there were twelve 
men and boys in the mine, two of whom survived, although severely 


1845 (May 12). Died, in Newcastle, aged 63, John Brown, esq., 
for upwards of thirty-five years clerk to the magistrates of that 
borough. Same day, in Gateshead, aged 51, Thomas Swinburne, 
esq., clerk to the magistrates ; and on May 15th, at Jersey, aged 
65, John P. Kidson, esq., clerk to the magistrates of Sunderland. 

May 26. Married, in London, Lord Lovaine, eldest son of 
the Earl of Beverley (now Duke of Northumberland), to Louisa, 
eldest daughter of Henry Drummond, esq., of Albury Park, 

j une 9. This afternoon a violent explosion of gunpowder 
took place in the shop of Mr. Steele, grocer, Claypath, Durham, 
the consequences of which, though of a serious nature, are yet of 
a less dreadful character than might have been apprehended. It 
appeared that Mr. Steele had been in the habit of keeping a 
quantity of gunpowder on hand, which he sold to colliers and 
others. A shop boy having placed a candle near to a package 
containing about 30 Ibs. of that commodity, it became ignited, and 
exploded with a terrible crash, the effects of which were felt in 
every part of the city, and the windows of the shops and houses 
in the immediate neighbourhood were almost entirely destroyed. 
The front of the house in which the calamity occurred, and all the 
floors and furniture, were blown into the street. A young woman, 
named Ann Robson, who fell with the second storey, was seriously 
injured, and the apprentice who had caused the disaster was killed. 
Mrs. and Miss Steele were also buried in the ruins, but were 
extricated very little injured. 

June 10. This evening an affair occurred in Church-street, 
Durham, which created a great sensation in that city. It appeared 
that Mr. Louis Henry Goule, one of the superintendents of rural 
police, detected his wife in company with a gentleman, under 
circumstances which caused him to fire two pistols at her, breaking 
her arm in two places. He then attacked the intruder, Mr. Walter 
Scruton, deputy clerk of the peace, with the butt end of the pistol, 
inflicting considerable injury on the head. In a few moments, 
however, the man was taken into custody and removed to the gaol, 
where he made an ineffectual attempt to cut his throat with a 
penknife. On the 16th, Mrs. Goule died from the effects of the 
injuries she had received, and her husband was tried for the 
murder, before Mr. Baron Rolfe, at the following assizes, and 
acquitted on the ground of insanity. 

June 12. The Rev. John Hodgson, the celebrated historian of 
Northumberland, died at Hartburn, aged 66. The deceased was 
appointed incumbent of Jarrow in 1808, and it was on that classic 
ground that he first conceived the idea of his well known history. 
The work was received with great favour by all persons of taste and 
literary acquirement, and Bishop Barrington marked his approba- 
tion by voluntarily conferring upon its author the vicarage of 
Kirkwhelpington, following up that with a present of 200. 
Successive portions of the History appeared in 1827, 1828, 1832, 
1835, and 1840, but just towards the completion of his labours he 


was seized with a serious illness, which incapacitated him from 
future mental exertion, and his noble work consequently remains 
in a fragmentary state. In 1833 he was appointed to the vicarage 
of Hartburn by Bishop Van Mildert, and he then resigned his 
other preferments, to the great regret of his parishioners. 

1845 (June 23> The Newcastle Races commenced this day. 
The Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. Meiklam's br m. 
Inheritress (Lye) beating Merry Andrew and Lightning, with 
fourteen others. The Gold Cup was won by Mr. Bell's ch h 
Winesour (Bumby), beating Mr. Ramsay's br h Midlothian and 
Colonel Craddock's br h Pagan. The Gold Cup, manufactured 
by Messrs. Reid and Sons, from a drawing by the late Mr. 
Benjamin Green, architect, consisted of a silver group repre- 
senting a scene from Mazeppa, Mazeppa, bound to a horse, which 
lies exhausted on the ground, is surrounded by wild horses and 
vultures and rescued by a female. 

July 8. A suit in chancery, which had been pending since 
August, 1836, between the Corporation of Newcastle and the 
Master and Brethren of the Jesus Hospital, in that town, 
terminated this day. The hospital was founded by the corpora- 
tion, in 1G81, for the support of forty freemen and freemen's 
widows, and it was then endowed with two small estates, at 
Whittle and Etherby, purchased at the time for 3,610, and 
producing about 100 per annum. In 1720, however, the 
corporation sold the estates, and, with the proceeds (3,815) and 
various other moneys, they purchased the Walker estate for 
12,224. From time to time the payments of the corporation to 
the hospital were increased to about 640 yearly, but the inmates 
of the hospital contended that the endowment should bear the 
same proportion to the rental of Walker estate as the 3,815 had 
borne to the original purchase money. This would have increased 
the funds of the hospital to nearly 1,500. In 1842, Lord 
Langdale, Master of the Rolls, made a decree in favour of the 
hospital, but the corporation appealed and counsel were addressing 
the House of Lords, this day, when the Lord Chancellor (Lynd- 
hurst) interposed, praised the "great generosity" of the corporation, 
and recommended, as a compromise, a future payment of 800 a 
year. To this the corporation agreed on condition that ten 
additional brethren should be appointed, and an Act to carry out 
this agreement received the royal assent, August 26, 1816. 

July 17. Died, at Ho wick Hall, Northumberland, in his 
82nd year, Charles, Earl Grey, Viscount Howick, Baron Grey, 
K.G., &c. The first of the family of Greys mentioned in ancient 
records as belonging to the manor of Howick is Sir Ralph Grey, 
of Chillingham. The more direct ancestor of the late lamented 
nobleman was Baron Grey, of Werke, who was ennobled in the 
reign of James the First. The title then became dormant for some 
generations. His lordship, who was born at Falloden on the 13th 
of March, 1764, was elected one of the representatives of North- 
umberland on the 13th of March, 1786. His maiden speech was 

B 1 


delivered on February 21st, 1787, on the subject of Mr. Pitt's 
commercial treaty with France, and gave presage of the extraordi- 
nary talent for debate by which his long parliamentary career was 
subsequently distinguished. Although a mere stripling, the 
extensive and correct knowledge of oar foreign mercantile relation* 
which it displayed, the forcible arguments by which he sustained 
his attack upon the ministerial policy, and the ease, elegance of 
style and delivery by which this speech was distinguished, showed 
that a luminary had appeared in the political horizon, whose course 
was likely to shed lustre on the legislature and the country. The 
estimation in which he was held at that early period of his career 
is best proved by his having been chosen one of the twenty-four 
managers of the celebrated impeachment of Warren Hastings, and 
his speeches on that subject and on the Regency Bill in the 
following year were long remembered as powerful efforts of 
eloquence and reasoning. " He professed himself,'* he said, " as 
ready to support the real splendour of the royal family, as any 
slippery sycophant of the court, but he thought there was more 
true dignity in manifesting a heart alive to the distresses of millions, 
than in all those trappings which encumber without adorning 
royalty." On the accession to power of Mr. Fox on the death of 
Mr. Pitt in 1806, Mr. Grey (who had then become Lord Howick) 
was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, and on the death of 
Mr. Fox, in the following year, his lordship became his successor 
as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and leader in the House 
of Commons. The death of his father, which took place shortly 
after, removed him to the Upper House of Parliament. His 
lordship now took the title of Earl Grey y by which appellation he 
was known to the present generation. The abortive attempt of 
George IV., whilst Prince Regent, in .1812, to induce him and 
Lord Granville to join the Perceval Administration, illustrated the 
integrity of his principles and the consistency of his conduct, and 
throughout his long public life, he continued the able and uncom- 
promising advocate of civil and religious liberty. The important 
question of Parliamentary Reform had occupied his lordship's- 
attention from almost his entrance into Parliament, and he re- 
peatedly brought it forward in the House of Commons. In 1830, 
on the dissolution of the Wellington Government, Earl Grey was 
empowered by William the IV. to form a ministry, having "Peace, 
Retrenchment, and Reform" as the basis of its policy. Accord- 
ingly, on the 1st March, 1831, the Reform Bill was introduced 
into the House of Commons, and after an arduous and protracted 
struggle, almost amounting to a convulsion, it was eventually 
carried through Parliament and received the royal assent on the 
seventh of June, 1832. When Earl Grey ceased to hold office, in 
July, 1834. spontaneous tokens of gratitude sprung up in every 
quarter. On the 19th of August, 1834, Earl Grey attended a 
monster meeting in the Guildhall, Newcastle, when addresses were 
presented to him from Tyneniouth (by Henry Metcalfe, esq.), from 
{South Shields (by Bryan Abbs, esq.), from Newcastle (by the Rev. 

A..D. 134 5.] REMARKABLE EVENTS 195 

J. S. Ogle), and from the stewards of the Incorporated Companies 
{by William Garrelt, esq.) All the addresses concurred in con- 
gratulating his lordship on his return to his native county, and in 
expressing the high sense they entertained of his great public 
services. The noble earl also received similar expressions of good 
feeling from his friends in Hexham, Sunderland, Alnvvick, Felton, 
Morpeth, Olendale Ward, and Berwick. In his speech at Berwick 
his lordship said" It is an easy matter to say go onward, 
persevere, push forward reforms ; do not temporize, but apply at 
once a severe remedy wherever an evil exists -never mind whether 
the constitution of the patient is able to bear such a severe remedy 
or not. Such language may be popular, but such will never be 
the language of a good and a wise statesman." Few public men 
Lave enjoyed a larger amount of popular respect. His strongest 
political opponents never imputed to him an over-eagerness for 
office, nor dared to question the integrity of the motives by which 
he was actuated. He was the last of the historical statesmen, his 
name being associated with Burke, Pitt, Fox, Sheridan, &c. A 
description of the personal appearance of Earl Grey in the vigour 
of his days will not be uninteresting to those who only knew him 
when advancing years began to affect his frame. His port and 
bearing were strikingly dignified, high birth was legible in every 
lineament of his features, and his whole exterior was decidedly 
patrician. His figure was stately and commanding, his action, 
graceful and animated, his forehead lofty and well developed, and 
his voice strong, flexible, and sonorous. As an orator, he was 
ready and correct, his style classically pure and void of affectation, 
his delivery such as to fix, and even fascinate, the attention, while 
his arguments were couched in diction which evinced the well- 
educated and well-disciplined mind. The remains of the noble 
carl were interred in a strictly private manner, in the family vault, 
at Ho wick Church. The body, which was borne by six members 
of his household, was followed, on foot, by his afflicted family and 
relatives, consisting of Lady Caroline Barrington, Lady Georgiana 
Grey, Lady Mary Wood, Miss Barrington, Earl Grey and five of 
his brothers, the Earl of Durham, Sir George Grey, bart., Mr. 
Elice, Mr. C. Wood, and Mr. Barrington, and a number of his 
admirers from the surrounding district also joined the procession 
on its way to church. The coffin bore the simple inscription 
"CHARLES, EARL GREY. K.G. Born March 13, 1764; Died 
July 17, 1845." His lordship married, November 18th, 1794, 
Mary Elizabeth, only daughter of Lord Ponsonby, by whom he 
had a family of ten sons and five daughters, twelve of whom, as 
well as her ladyship, survived him. 

1845 (July 31J. At the Northumberland Assizes, before Mr. 
Justice Cress well, Mr. Addison Potter, son of the Mayor of 
Newcastle, was charged with an assault on Mr. John Hernaman, 
proprietor of the " Newcastle Journal." The assault was com- 
mitted with a riding whip, on the 20th November, 1844, in the 
streets of Newcastle, and occurred in consequence of an article 


which appeared in the "Newcastle Journal" of the 16th November. 
Mr. Potter was found guilty and sentenced* to two months 
imprisonment in Morpeth Gaol. 

1845 (August I). An alarming fire broke out this evening in the 
Pudding-chare, in the premises occupied by Mr. Perry, treacle 
manufacturer. The upper floors of the building, which was of 
great height, were filled with corn and basket rods, and the whole 
was speedily in flames and completely destroyed. The premises 
were the property of Mr. Humble, basket maker, whose loss was 
very great. 

August 9. Two dreadful murders were perpetrated this 
evening, at Barnard Castle, under very remarkable circumstances. 
Joseph Yates, a tailor, had been drinking with three young men, 
named George Barker, Thomas Routledge, and John Brecken, 
who, having discovered that Yates had a little money in his 
possession, determined to force it from him. About midnight, 
when he was in company with a female, named Catherine Raine, 
the three men, with a girl, named Ann Humphreys, followed him 
to a place on the banks of the Tees, and, after a short scuffle, they 
took the money from him, and then threw him into the river, 
where he was drowned. On returning over the bridge into the 
town, the men threatened vengeance on the girls unless they would 
swear to secrecy, but, as Raine refused to accede to their request, 
she was seized, thrown over the parapet wall, and the river being 
much swollen, she was carried away and was drowned. Humphreys, 
having sworn to keep the matter a secret, was permitted to go 
home. The bodies were found a few days after, and strong 
suspicion rested on the above parties ; but Humphreys kept her 
oath for nearly a year, and when she at last disclosed the horrible 
affair her unsupported testimony could not be relied on, and the 
men were accordingly acquitted of the murder at the York Assizes, 
in August, 1846. Further evidence was, however, obtained to 
corroborate the girl's testimony, and the three ruffians were 
arraigned for the robbery only, on the 16th of March, 1847, and 
were clearly convicted of the crime. The Judge sentenced them 
to fifteen years' transportation, expressing his heartfelt regret that 
the law had failed to reach them on the capital charge. The two 
trials cost the county of York 1,500. 

August 13. A vacancy having occurred in the representation 
of Sunderland, by the elevation of Lord Howick to the House 
of Lords, the nomination of candidates took place, before the 
Mayor (J. Allison, esq.) Mr. Joshua Wilson proposed, and Mr. 
Joseph Hill seconded, Colonel Perronet Thompson. Mr. J. J. 
Wright proposed, and Mr. Richard Spoor seconded, George 
Hudson, esq. The show of hands was in favour of Colonel 
Thompson, but the result of the poll on the following day was as 
follows : Hudson, 626 ; Thompson, 498. Shortly after the close 
of the poll, Mr. Bright, Mr. Moore, and Colonel Thompson 
addressed an immense concourse of people from the balcony of 
tho Bridge Hotel. They attributed the result of the election to 


a want of union, and to several of tbe leaders, who formerly 
marshalled the electors, having taken a neutral, if not an opposite, 
position. The greatest order prevailed throughout the day. 

1845 (August 13). Died,in the Bigg-market, Newcastle, aged 63, 
Mr. Emerson Charnley, bookseller, and a member of the Town 
Council. He was a member of the Old Common Council, and 
was returned to the new body on the change which succeeded the 
passing of the Municipal Reform Act. Connected with an old 
established firm, taking an interest in the principal institutions of 
the town, and being of a peculiarly accessible friendly and homely 
disposition, no man was better known in Newcastle and the 
neighbourhood than Emerson Charnley. 

August 15. An alarming railway collision occurred on the 
line between Sunderland and Brockley Whins, about half-past 
three, p.m. The mail-train, after leaving Sunderland, came in 
contact with the train from Newcastle, both proceeding at a quick 
pace at the time. The collision was fearful. The mail-train 
passengers included Mr. Charles Tee, a railway proprietor, of 
Barusley : Mr. Brunton, town clerk, of Sunderland ; Mr. Richard- 
son and Mr. Gutch, solicitors, of York, who had been assisting in 
the election of Mr. Hudson ; Mr. Falvey, of the Anti-Corn Law 
League ; several other gentlemen, and about half-a-dozen ladies. 
Not a single person travelling by the train escaped injury. Mr. 
Richardson and Mr. Gutch were both sadly bruised, especially the 
latter gentleman whose face was painfully disfigured ; Mr. Falvey 
sustained a contusion on the leg ; the stoker had his arm broken ; 
while the engine-driver, seeing his danger, saved himself by leaping 
off the engine ; a boy, named Hogarth, was frightfully bruised 
and cut ; all the women were severely stunned, and the iron of the 
engine and tender was shattered to pieces. The occurrence took 
place at the junction of two lines, where there is only a single 
row of rails, and where the signal flags for the Newcastle train 
to stop were actually hoisted at the time. When the engine- 
driver was asked why he did not stop he was unable to give a 
satisfactory answer. 

August 20. In consequence of the rain which fell on this 
and the two days preceding, the river Aln rose to a greater 
height than at any former period within memory, and vast 
quantities of hay and corn on the banks of the stream were 
carried away. Several sheep and goats were also lost, and, at 
Bolton, a farm steward and his son, named Cook, were drowned 
whilst endeavouring to save some sheep. The Till was also very 
much swollen, and serious damage was done in many places. 

August 21. A fearful explosion occurred this afternoon, at 
Jarrovv Colliery, the property of D. Brown, esq. Mr. Jobling, 
the viewer, in company with Mr. Brown, were walking towards 
the pit at the time when they observed an unusual amount of 
smoke, and on reaching the heap the accident immediately became 
apparent. About seventy-five men and boys were at work at the 
time, thirty-six of whom were employed in the Low Main Seam, 


where the explosion took place, and of these only one man was 
saved. The other men were working in the Bensham Seam, 1 60 
feet above the others, and, owing to the air-courses being partially 
destroyed they suffered severely from after-damp, and three men, 
named James Stewart, Benjamin Robinson, Robert Fairgreave, 
and a boy, named Baird, died. A brave man, named Defty, an 
overman, also lost his life in endeavouring to rescue others. A 
subscription was commenced for the benefit of the sufferers and 
nearly 1,800 was collected. 

1845 (August 30). Died, in Blenheim- street, Newcastle, in his 
80th year, William Anthony Hails. The deceased belonged to that 
class of self-educated men whose ardent pursuit of knowledge 
raises them above the obscurity and difficulties of early life. He 
was to trade a ship-carpenter, but afterwards became an eminent 
teacher which profession he followed in Newcastle for upwards of 
30 years. He was a most laborious and indefatigable student, 
and his mind was well stored with a fund of knowledge on almost 
every branch of science, but his chief study and for which he 
became most eminent was a knowledge of languages. He culti- 
vated, more particularly, an acquaintance with the Eastern 
tongues, and there were few, if any, his superior in a critical 
knowledge of Hebrew, and was a frequent correspondent of the 
" Critical Journal" in which he successfully encountered some of 
the first Hebrew scholars of those days. He was the originator, 
and for many years the most active supporter, of the Benevolent 
Society, the precursor of the present Sick and Indigent Society, 
and was also one of the most early supporters of the Bible Society. 
He was the author of some valuable essays on the Unitarian 
Controversy, but his principal work was his reply to " Volney's 
Ruin of Empires," a work of great research and erudition. 

September 4. Married, at Lamesley Cliurch, the Hon. John 
A. Douglass, Envoy Extraordinary at St. Petersburgh, and 
eldest son of Lord Bloornfield, to the Hon. Georgiana Liddell, 
youngest daughter of Lord Ravensvvorth. Great rejoicing took 
place at Ravensworth, where the grand entrance hall was thrown 
open for the first time, 

September 4. The discussion between the Rev. W. Cooke 
and Mr. Joseph Barker, on the question, " What is a Christian 
and his principles ?" was brought to a close this evening, after 
extending over a period of three weeks. The room was crowded 
every evening, and, considering the excitement that popular 
discussions invariably create, order was pretty well maintained 
throughout. On each occasion Mr. Cooke was allowed an hour 
and a half to state his sentiments, and Mr. Barker was allowed 
an equal time for reply. Mr. Cooke defended the fundamental 
principles of Christianity, basing his arguments on the Scriptures, 
and calling to his aid such other evidence as was necessary to 
maintain the truth and support the dignity of the Gospel. Mr. 
Barker, on the other hand, denied the authenticity of the chapters 
in the New Testament containing the account of the miraculous 


conception, and, as a necessary consequence, rejected from his 
creed the whole doctrine of the Trinity. In closing the discussion 
Mr. Cooke answered some of the statements of his opponent, and 
charged him with having misquoted his sentiments. He then 
entered on the subject of the personality and Godhead of the Holy 
Spirit, and proceeded to defend the Trinity as a doctrine of revealed 
religion. As the discussion progressed, and more especially at the 
conclusion, the feelings and judgment of the audience were 
manifestly in favour of Mr. Cooke, and if the question had been 
put as to which system was true, there would have been at least 
twenty to one on the side of the orthodox faith. 

1845 (October 3), Owing to heavy rains the river Tyne was 
greatly flooded, and much injury was done to the shipping lying at 
Newcastle and Shields. Large quantities of hay and corn were 
swept from adjacent lands, and timber, keels, and other craft were 
drifted down the stream, the rapidity of the current preventing 
any effort to stop their progress. The King's Meadows and 
several miles of the Carlisle Railway were quite under water. An 
immense quantity of agricultural produce was likewise destroyed 
on the Tweed and Wear. 

October 15. Several of the scholars of Dr. Cowan's Academy, 
Bishopwearmouth, were bathing in the sea, at Ilendon, in 
company with five of their teachers, when a strong current swept 
several of the party into deep water, and one of the teachers, named 
Special, two youths, sons of Sir David Baird, bart., Newbyth, 
East Lothian, and Robert M. Leny, son of J. McAlpine Leny, esq , 
of Dalwinton, Dumfriesshire, were unfortunately drowned. 

October 22. Mr. John Fram, aged 49, was found dead this 
morning, about seven o'clock, in a water tub, on his own premises, 
at Ridley-villas, Newcastle. It appeared that the deceased had 
been recommended by his medical adviser, Mr. Tullock, to bathe 
his head frequently in water, and whether in attempting to do so 
he had fallen in, or whether he had intentionally thrown himself 
into the tub, could not be ascertained. 

October 28. A dinner was given at the George Inn, New- 
castle, to Henry Ingledew, esq., deputy-recorder, by the members 
of the legal profession resident in that town, to mark their sense 
of the able manner in which he discharged the duties of his office. 
The chair was taken by John Fenwick, esq , the vice-chair by 
William Kell, esq., and thirty-three members sat down to a 
sumptuous repast. 

October. About the end of this month a skeleton was found, 
in perfect preservation, in a yard attached to Sir Matthew White 
Ridley's glass-works, at the Ouseburn, Newcastle. It was 
supposed to be the remains of a member of one of the three 
families who originally introduced the manufacture cf glass into 
this district, and who were known to have had a private burial 

October 28. A purse of forty guineas was presented to the 
Rev. George Heriot, as a testimony of their affectionate regard, 


and as an acknowledgment of his services since his appointment 
as their minister, by the congregation of St. Anns Chapel, 

1845 (November 1). The workmen in the employ of Mr. W. 
Wailes, glass-stainer, Newcastle, entertained Mr. Francis W. 
Oliphant to dinner at Mr. Lowes, Thornton Arms, Thornton-street, 
Newcastle, on which occasion Mr. W. Wailes, Mr. -G. Wailes, and 
Mr. Oliphant, were the invited guests. The chair was filled by Mr. 
Campbell, supported by Mr. J. Rodgers. After the usual toasts 
of the evening, Mr. Oliphant was presented with an elegant chased 
silver box, manufactured by Messrs. Reid and Sons, of Newcastle, 
and drawing instruments, as a slight mark of their admiration and 
regret at his leaving Newcastle for London. 

^November 10. The ninth of November having fallen on a 
Sunday, the election of chief magistrates for the boroughs in the 
counties of Northumberland and Durham took place this day, with 
the following result : Newcastle Thomas E. Headlam, M.D. ; 
Matthew liobert Bigge, sheriff. Gateshead Thomas Cummins. 
Durham John Bramwell. Sunderland Robert Brown. Marpeth 
Nicholas Wright. Stockton John Crossby. Berwick Thomas 
Hogarth ; William Smith, sheriff. 

November 22. Died, at Ravensworth Castle, in her 73rd 

?ear, Maria Susannah, wife of the Right Hon. Lord Ravensworth. 
'he whole of her ladyship's family, with the exception of the 
Marchioness of Normanby, the Hon. Mrs. Villiers, and the Hon. 
Mrs. Bloomfield, who were residing abroad, were present on the 
melancholy occasion. The account of her ladyship's death was 
received with sorrow throughout the entire neighbourhood, as she 
was well known for her amiable disposition and Christian 
benevolence. The deceased was the third daughter and co-heiress 
of John Simpson, esq., of Bradley Hall, Durham, by Lady Ann, 
daughter of Thomas, eighth Earl of Strathmore, and by the death 
of her last surviving sister, in February, 1844, she eventually 
became sole heiress of the extensive possessions of the ancient 
families of Simpson and Anderson, of Bradley. The deceased, in 
March, 1796, married Thomas H. Liddell, esq., afterwards a 
baronet, and eventually Lord Ravensworth, and she left a family 
of seven sons and as many daughters, most of whom she had the 
happiness to see connected by marriage with some of the noblest 
families in the kingdom. Possessed of great means of doing good, 
Lady Ravensworth was never known to fail in making use of 
them, and the almshouses built and endowed by her for the 
deserving poor of the Ravensworth and Eslington properties, will 
long remain a proof of her munincence'and charity. 

November 25. The skiff race, for 100 a-side, between 
Clasper, of Newcastle, and Pocock, of London, took place on the 
Tyne, in the presence of several thousands of spectators, Clasper, 
at the termination, being at least a quarter of a mile in advance. 

November 25. Died, at Chimney Mills, aged 49, Mr. William 
Andrew Mitchell, formerly editor and proprietor of the " Tyne 

A.t). 1845.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 201 

Mercury," which journal he conducted, after the death of his 
father, upwards of 25 years. The deceased was also the editor of 
the " Newcastle Magazine," a periodical started by himself, and 
carried on with an energy rarely found in the provinces. He was 
also the author of " Tim Tunbelly," " Peter Putright," a drama 
called " Crohore of the Billhook," " Essays on Capacity and 
Genius," " Thoughts of One that Wandereth," and many fugitive 
pieces. Through life he was an able and consistent advocate of 
Liberal principles, and few men have descended to the grave 
more regretted by their friends. 

1845 (November 26). A tremendous boiler explosion took place 
at the Bishopwearmouth Ironworks, causing a great injury to the 
premises and sacrifice of life. About sixty workmen were in the 
building at the time, and, from the prodigious force of the 
explosion, nearly the whole of them were buried by the falling in 
of the roof or scalded by the steam which filled the place. Four 
men were dead when extricated, two more died soon after, and 
upwards of thirty others received very serious injuries. The 
property adjoining was also greatly damaged, large pieces of iron 
being propelled in all directions. 

December 5. Robert A. Davison, esq., solicitor, of Sunderland, 
and clerk to the trustees of the county of Durham turnpikes, 
committed suicide by hanging himself in his greenhouse. At the 
inquest, a person named Rermison, who resided next door to Mr. 
Davison, was examined. He stated that he observed the deceased 
go into his greenhouse, when shortly afterwards he heard a scream 
from the servant girl, on which he ran to the greenhouse, where 
he saw the body of Mr. Davison hanging by the neck to a beam, 
with the feet on the ground, and the knees bent in a drooping 
position. He was quite dead. No reason was assigned for the 
rash act. 

December 8. A splendid white woodcock was shot in Harehope 
Wood by O. A. B. Cress well, esq. Perhaps so rare a bird has 
seldom or ever been seen in those parts. 

December 11. The secluded village of Netherton, in Coquet- 
dale was the scene of great bustle and social harmony on this 
day, it having been the place where Walter Selby, esq., of 
Biddlestone, was to receive a testimonial of his neighbours' 
gratitude. When Mr. Selby came into possession of the Biddle- 
stone estates he found that his predecessor had accumulated many 
heavy debts, for which the contractor alone was responsible, and 
for which he (Mr. Selby) was not legally liable. He, however, 
immediately put into operation a system of the most rigid economy, 
and, after some years of self-denial and sequestration, he accumu- 
lated sufficient to pay every one in full. This highly honourable 
conduct was the occasion of the presentation. At two o'clock Mr. 
Selby arrived in his carriage, in company with his sister, Miss 
Selby, the lady of the Vicar of Whittingham, Mrs. Goodenough, 
and Mr. Riddell, of Felton Park. As they drew up to the Star 
Inn the welkin rang with peals of cannon and the huzzas of the 

c 1 



assembled multitude. After a few minutes' stay in the inn, Mr. 
Selby accompanied Mr. Burrell, of Broome Park, into an open 
carriage, when a massive silver shield, value 100 guineas, with a 
representation of Sir Walter de Selby of yore, in victorious combat 
with David, King of Scotland, was placed near Mr. Burrell, who 
then addressed Mr. Selby as follows : " My dear Mr. Selby, I 
have been desired by the committee of gentlemen, who have 
solicited the honour of your attendance on this occasion, to present 
you with a memorial of their respect and gratitude for a kindness 
of a very distinguished and particular nature. It has given me 
the greatest pleasure to accede to their request, not only because 
it entails on me the duty of recording their honourable feelings, 
but because it gives me an opportunity of expressing my achairation 
of the conduct which drew forth those feelings. For what you, 
sir, are pleased to consider a simple act of justice is, in truth, one 
of the most disinterested generosity a voluntary sacrifice for the 
benefit of others, a gallant assumption of responsibility where no 
real or actual responsibility existed. There are many persons who 
in your case would have gladly taken advantage of the immunities 
which the law provides for them. But not so with you. You 
could not enjoy life with the reflection that any one, however 
remotely or incidentally, should suffer a loss which it was in your 
power to redress. I must be permitted to add that my gratifica- 
tion in discharging this pleasing duty has been greatly enhanced 
by the thought that the whole act in question has been performed 
by a neighbour and a friend, by the descendant of a race of gentry 
which, for more than 500 years, have flourished on this spot where 
we are met to commemorate the worth which attaches here to the 
soil and endears him to its inhabitants. I must take the liberty 
of calling your attention to the embossment of the shield, which 
represents a gallant achievement of one of your family in ancient 
times and to which you were not likely at any time to have drawn, 
public attention." After the ceremony, 160 gentlemen sat down 
to dinner, William Burrell, esq., presiding. The chairman was 
supported upon the right by Mr. Selby, Mr. Riddell, of Felton 
Park, the Rev. Mr. Hoggett, and Mr. Thomas Selby ; upon the 
left by Mr. Clavering, Callaly, Captain Collingwood, Glanton, 
Rev. Mr. Goodenough, Whittingham ; Jasper Gibson, esq., of 
Hexham, filled the vice-chair, supported by the Rev. Mr. Proctor, 
Vicar of Alwinton, Dr. Henry Crea, Wittingham. and the Rev. 
Thomas Ord, Callaly. 

1845 (December 9). A man, named Robert Joicey, 57 years of 
age, died suddenly at Cockle Park, near Morpeth, and, in conse- 
quence of suspicious circumstances, his son Ralph, who lived with 
him, was soon after apprehended in Newcastle, at the residence of 
William Joicey, Hutton's-court, Pilgrim- street, another son of the 
deceased. The prisoner immediately admitted his guilt, and, from 
his statement, it appeared that about two months before the 
occurrence he bought a quantity of arsenic, in Morpeth, of Mr. 
Creighton, chemist, and having mixed a portion of the poison in 


some jalap, he disguised himself and left the packet at a public 
house where medicine for his father was frequently left by his 
medical attendant, Dr. Hedley, of Morpeth. The packet bore the 
following inscription : " I make you a present for Joicey. Take 
this large powder in a glass of ale or a glass of wine, and the 
smaller one in a little honey or jelly, the one at night the other 
in the morning." The contents of the packets were given to the 
old man, who immediately after became ill and died. The prisoner 
was tried and convicted before Mr. Justice Coleridge, February 
26th, 1846, and was executed at Morpeth on the 18th March 

1846 (January 8). A dreadful accident took place this after- 
noon close to the Railway Station, South Shields. Whilst a 
number of workmen were employed in removing a quantity of 
ballast from an enormous heap of 'that substance, a portion of the 
hill came down upon them, before they had time to escape, and 
two men, named Thomas Bradford and John Burn, were killed. 
Upwards of a dozen others narrowly escaped the same fate. 

January 14. As Mr. Thomas Clarke, of the firm of Clarke, 
Plummer, and Co., of the Ouseburn Spinning Mill, Newcastle, 
was returning on horseback from Kibblesworth, he called at the 
house of Mr. Plummer, on Gateshead Fell, and on returning to 
the public road he had to pass a well where some girls were 
getting water, at whom the horse took fright and Mr. Clarke was 
thrown from his seat falling heavily on the ground. Being 
perceived by some parties near he was immediately carried to an 
adjoining house and the aid of Sir John Fife, Mr. Talmadge, and 
Mr. Davies was speedily procured but it was of no avail. The 
unfortunate gentleman had received such severe internal injuries 
as to cause his death in a few hours. 

January. During this month, two seamen belonging to the 
ship Ariadne, of Greenock, having received relief at the New- 
castle Infirmary, on their return to the vessel they gave such a 
good account of the benefits and comforts of the valuable institution, 
that Captain MacKellar, his officers, and crew immediately raised 
the sum of seven pounds as a donation. 

February 3. This morning, a little before five o'clock, the 
extensive steam-engine manufactory of Messrs. Robert and 
William Hawthorn, at the Forth-banks, Newcastle, was discovered 
to be on fire, and such was the rapid progress of the flames that 
within two hours a large building in the centre of the works, 
which was used as the locomotive tender and the pattern depart- 
ment, was completely destroyed. Some of the detached workshops 
were, however, preserved. The loss was estimated at upwards of 
10,000. This was the third time the premises of Messrs. 
Hawthorn had suffered from fire. See Sykes, March 10th, 1832. 

February 3. A boy, named Foggon, little more than two 
years old, wandered from his home, at Lorbottle, near Rothbury. 
The following morning the neighbours having dragged the mill 
ponds and searched the burns afterwards repaired to the adjoining 


hills, when a shepherd's lad, belonging to Mr. Drysdale, was 
attracted by his cries, and found him lying on his breast, at a 
place called the Long Crag, a distance of nearly four miles from 
his home, and after having endured the exposure more than^25 
hours. His preservation is the more remarkable from his having 
passed several old coal workings during the night. 

1846 (February 4,). A fatal accident occurred at Messrs. 
Stephenson's engine manufactory, South-street, Newcastle, by which 
a young man, named William Phelan, a native, of Alnwick, lost 
his life. It appeared that Phelan and a fellow workman, named 
Bruce, were engaged in grinding a piece of iron on a grindstone, 
which was driven by an engine, when suddenly, without any 
warning, the stone flew into pieces with tremendous force, one of 
the parts flying upwards and breaking the beam and the floor of 
the upper room, and then striking the steam pipe in its descent, 
broke it, and filled the building with steam. The other portions of 
the stone were driven in all directions. Phelan was found some 
distance from the place, with his head frightfully shattered. He 
died at the Infirmary two hours after the accident. 

February 6. The extensive paper mill of Messrs. Hutton, 
Fletcher, & Co., Ayres Quay, near Sunderland, was completely 
burnt down this morning. The fire was first discovered about six 
o'clock by some workmen, who observed masses of smoke issuing 
from the windows. In about ten minutes more, the whole mill 
was enveloped in fire. When it reached the room where the rags 
and ropes and other material are kept, the fury of the devouring 
element was greatly increased, and its progress became irresistible. 
The flames rose to a great height, and the roof fell in about fifty 
minutes from the time of the fire being discovered. The workmen 
had been on strike for the previous three weeks, and as the estab- 
lishment had consequently been closed, strong suspicions were 
abroad that it was wilfully occasioned. 

February 8. This evening an alarming disturbance took 
place at Black Hill, between the English and Irish workmen 
employed at the Derwent Iron Works. It appeared that during 
the evening several of the workmen were drinking in a public 
house, kept by Mr. Moore, and a fight took place, in which one of 
the combatants, an Irishman, was severely beaten. This so excited 
his companions that they immediately collected together a numerous 
body of their countrymen, some armed with sticks, others with 
pokers, shovels, and similar weapons, and they forthwith made an 
indiscriminate attack upon all in the village. The first person 
they met was a man named George Patterson, who was instantly 
felled to the ground. Another man, named Gilroy, was so mal- 
treated as scarcely to be recognized. The rioters then attacked 
the public house, and in a short time every pane of glass was 
broken, the inmates making a precipitate retreat by the back part 
of the premises. By this time the whole place was in a state of 
the utmost alarm and excitement, and the English workmen, in 
order to defend themselves, were obliged to give battle to the 


assailants. The consequences may be imagined. The parties 
attacked each other with loud yells and in the most ferocious 
manner, and it was not until two o'clock in the morning that the 
riot had expended itself. The Irishmen retreated, leaving six 
lying on the ground bleeding, and having about forty others seriously 
injured. Information of the disturbance reached Superintendent 
Hall at Whickham, and he hastened to the place with a strong body 
of policemen, and succeeded in apprehending nine of the principal 
rioters, who were immediately taken before Peter Annandale, esq,, 
who committed them to prison. Three of those left on the field 
of battle subsequently died of their wounds. 

1846 (February 12). A fine specimen of the Trichiuvus Lepturus, 
or Blade Fish, 13 feet 9 inches long, was caught near Alnmouth, 
and was afterwards exhibited at Alnwick. This was supposed to 
be the first specimen of this rare fish caught alive in Britain. 

February. The following are in the list of new patents applied 
for during this month : Conrad Haverkam Greenhow, of North 
Shields, gent,, for improvements in the construction of railways 
and railway carriages, sealed 6th January, 6 months for enrolment ; 
Henry Watson, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, brass-founder, for 
improvements in withdrawing air and vapours from furnaces or 
other apparatus, and in condensing and employing such vapours, 
sealed 6th January, 6 months for enrolment ; Robert Bewick 
Longridge, of the Bedlington Iron Works, near Morpeth, North- 
umberland, for an improved locomotive engine, sealed 13th 
January, 6 months for enrolment ; William Benson, of Allerwash 
House, Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, gent., for certain 
improvements in machines for the manufacture of tiles and other 
plastic substances, sealed 15th January, 6 months for enrolment. 

March 10. A pugilistic encounter took place on Blyth Links, 
between William Cleghorn and Michael Reilly, both of Newcastle. 
After fighting not less than two hours and a half, Cleghorn was 
declared the victor. Reilly received such severe injuries that he 
died early on the following morning. Cleghorn was convicted of 
manslaughter at the Summer Assizes, before Mr. Justice Cresswell, 
and was sentenced to six months hard labour. 

March 16. A little boy, named Taylor, employed at Spital 
Tongues Colliery, near Newcastle, escaped a dreadful death in 
a most extraordinary way. Taylor was occupied at bank pushing 
the corves of coals from the shaft to fill the waggons, and he 
occasionally steadied the corves over the mouth of the shaft to 
descend into the mine. While engaged in the latter occupation 
a projecting rod from the corf caught his waistcoat and dragged 
him into the shaft down which he fell head foremost. The shaft 
is 60 fathoms deep and his fellow workmen shuddered as they 
thought of his certain death. Judge their surprize when, a 
moment afterwards, a voice came up the shaft " I've got hold of 
the rope, pull me up," and, strange as it may seem, at a depth of 
upwards of 180 feet had this boy in his perilous descent seized the 
rope, which was connected with the corf about to descend, and 


sustained his weight until brought to the surface, having received 
no other injury than a slight graze on one arm and leg. 

1846 (March 16), Whilst two boys, sons of Mr. Robert Lynn, of 
Derwenthaugh Lamp Black Works, were playing by the Derwent 
river, near Swalwell, the younger, who was five years of age, 
fell in and his brother in attempting to get him out was drawn in 
also. The alarm being given by some companions, a young man, 
named William Kirsopp, ran to the spot, plunged into the river, 
and rescued the two little fellows, who were just sinking, being 
quite exhausted. 

March 26. The foundation-stone for the erection of other 
four new cottages at the Master Mariners' Asylum, near Bent 
House, South Shields, was laid by R. Ingham, esq., of Westoe, in 
the presence of a numerous and highly respectable party of ladies 
and gentlemen. The Rev. J. Carr offered up prayer on the 
occasion, and the meeting was addressed by R. Ingham, R. 
Anderson, J. Hargrave, and R. Findley, esqrs. 

April 12. This morning a serious accident happened on the 
Brandling Junction Railway, at Templetown, near South Shields, 
in consequence of an engine, which was conveying a heavily 
laden passenger train, running off the rails and falling over an 
embankment into a cottage, belonging to Mr. George Swalwell. 
As the accident was almost momentary there was no time for 
escape, and the engine fell perpendicularly through the roof, 
destroying the whole of the house, and burying Mrs. Swalwell, 
her son and sister (Sarah Rippon) in the ruins. From the position 
of the engine and the force of the steam, which was escaping 
amongst the ruins, it was with considerable difficulty that the 
sufferers were got out. The son escaped unhurt, but the females 
were not so fortunate. Mrs. Swalwell escaped with a broken leg. 
Sarah Rippon died a short time after the accident. The engine- 
man and fireman were thrown on the top of an adjoining house, 
the former received several severe bruises, but the other escaped 
unhurt. The passengers were considerably alarmed, but with the 
exception of a man, named John Blanchland, who had one leg 
broken and the other fractured, they all escaped. 

April 19. A fire broke out this evening in a building in 
the Castle Yard, on the Palace Green, Durham. The flames 
raged for nearly six hours, but, fortunately, they were confined to 
the building. How the fire originated could not be accounted for, 
as the premises had been locked up for a considerable time. The 
damage was estimated at about 400. 

April 28. A massive silver tureen and salver, value 130, 
were presented to Mr. Alderman William Henry Brockett, of 
Gateshead, by the merchants and shipowners of Newcastle and 
neighbourhood, to mark their sense of his services in connection 
with the removal of the passing toll levied on shipping by the 
Corporation of Scarborough. The plate was presented by Mr. G. 
Straker, and Mr. Brockett was afterwards entertained at dinner at 
the Three Indian King's Hotel, Quayside, Newcastle. 


1846 (May 12). A fire occurred in the farm premises of Messrs. 
W. and R. Green, of Crawcrook, near Gateshead, by which nine 
stacks of grain and much other property was destroyed. It was 
snpposed to be the work of an incendiary, a quantity of cotton 
being found in the stackyard. 

May 24. A lad, about seventeen years of age, named William 
Bowman, residing with his brother, who is a hairdresser, in 
Clive-street, North Shields, was discovered to have hung himself 
under very extraordinary circumstances. The parties are natives 
of London, and had resided only a few months at Shields. On 
Sunday their father visited them, from Newcastle, and on his 
return, in the evening, the elder brother accompanied him to the 
train, leaving deceased in the house. On the brother's return he 
found the door locked inside, and as no one answered his knock, 
another door, leading from a side passage was broken open, when 
the unfortunate youth was found suspended from the ceiling, quite 
dead. The deceased was dressed precisely similar to a culprit 
whom he had recently seen executed, and the neck was protected 
from the cord by a pillow, which had been placed between it and 
the rope. No reason whatever could be assigned for the act. 

May 24. Died, at Nettlecombe, Somerset, aged 86, Sir John 
Trevelyan, bart., of that place, and of Wellington, Northumber- 
land. In 1798 he raised the Wallington troop of cavalry, of 
which he was commandant. Sir John was succeeded in the 
baronetcy and family estates by Walter Calverly Trevelyan, his 
eldest son, born in Newcastle, on the 31st of March, 1797. 

June 11. This afternoon a magnificent vessel, named the 
Marlborough, was launched from the building-yard of Messrs. 
Smith, at St. Peter's, near Newcastle. Precisely at half-past five 
the signal was given, and the vessel glided smoothly and majesti- 
cally into its native element amid the firing of cannon and the 
cheers of the assembled multitude. The Marlborough was 1,800 
tons burthen and the largest vessel ever before built on the Tyne. 

June 11. This afternoon a boiler suddenly exploded at the 
Tow Law Iron Works, near Wolsingham, Durham, by which two 
men and a boy lost their lives, and several persons were much 
injured. Great damage was also done to the works. 

June 21. A melancholy accident occurred at Hartlepool, by 
the upsetting of a yacht, in which were three brothers, named 
Travers, aged respectively 34, 30, and 28, all clerks in respectable 
offices, and Thomas Westall, a waterman. The party was pro- 
ceeding from Hartlepool to Middlesborough, but were caught by a 
squall, and all of them were drowned before assistance could be 

June 22. The match between Newell and Clasper, which 
had excited extraordinary interest, came off this day, on the 
Tyne. The amount at issue was 100 sovereigns aside, and the 
distance to be performed about five miles, teing from Newcastle 
Bridge to Lernington. The contest resulted in the victory of 
Newell by about fifty yards. Never, perhaps, on any similar 



occasion was there seen such a mass of spectators, and " Haud 
away Harry" was echoed and re-echoed from each side of the 


1846 (June 23> The Newcastle Baces commenced this day. The 
North Derby was won by Lord Eglinton's b c Dolo (Marson), 
beating Mr. Cooke's br c Fancy Boy and Mr. W. Scott's Sir 
Tatton Sykes. The Northumberland Plate was won by Lord 
Eglinton's b c Dolo (Prince), beating Mr. J. Bell's ch h Winesour 
and 12 others. The Gold Cup was won by Mr. J. Bell's ch h 
Winesour (Bumby), beating Mr. O'Brien's bl c Mentor and Colonel 
Craddock's br c Jinglepot. 

j u ly 4. A girl, named Catherine Hindmarsh, aged 19, 
residing in High-street, Bishopwearmouth, was sent by her mother 
to a shop in the neighbourhood, but she never returned home. 
On the following morning she was discovered lying dead at the 
bottom of Galley's Gill, a precipice upwards of 80 feet in height. 
Cries of " Murder" were heard in the neighbourhood about mid- 
night, and it appeared certain that the unfortunate girl had come 
to a violent end, but nothing was ever elicited to clear up the 

j u ly 5. A melancholy accident happened to a promising 
young man, aged 22, son of Mr. William Marshall, of Westoe. 
An aquatic pleasure party had been at sea in a boat, near Marsden 
Rocks, and one of the party had taken a loaded double-barrelled 
gun into the boat for the purpose of shooting seagulls. The major 
part of the party having come on shore, Mr. Marshall and Mr. 
Galloway returned to the boat for the purpose of re-embarking, 
when, owing to some accident, the gun went off, and the contents 
were discharged into Mr. Marshall's body. He was immediately 
conveyed to Peter Allen's marine grotto, where he shortly after- 
wards expired. 

July 5. A terrific thunderstorm occurred in Newcastle and 
the surrounding district, during which a young woman, named 
Mary Elliot, living at Cramlington, was killed by the lightning. 

July 14. The eighth great meeting of the Royal Agricultural 
Society commenced at Newcastle, under the presidency of Lord 
Portman. The principal object of the meeting was to bring 
together all the most approved means of cultivating the soil and 
performing the multifarious duties appertaining to agriculture, and 
especially to show the improvements of which the breeding and 
fattening of live stock are susceptible. Great preparations had 
been made for several months previous, and thirteen acres of the 
Town Moor, behind Eldon-place, had been drained, enclosed and 
divided into sections for the show of live stock and implements, 
and a spacious pavilion had been erected in the Forth for the public 
dinner. On the 14th and 15th the judges of implements and stock 
made their awards, and on the 16th and 17th the cattle show was 
thrown open to the public. On both days the number of persons 
anxious to inspect the exhibition greatly surpassed the anticipations 
of the committee, and it was found necessary to make additional 

A.D. 1846.] 



entrances in order to relieve the pressure at the doors. In the 
afternoon of the 16th the great dinner took place in the Forth. 
Covers were laid for 1,300, the utmost number which could be 
accommodated, and many gentlemen were disappointed in obtaining 
admission. The chair was taken by Lord Portman, and the vice- 
chair by the Earl of Egmont. Amongst the distinguished visitors 
were His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of 
Cleveland, the Earl of Chichester, the Earl of Buchan, Lord 
Morpeth, Lord Polwarth, Sir Roderick Murchison, Dr. Buckland, 
Mr. George Stephenson, and almost every landed gentleman in 
Northumberland and Durham. The following noblemen and 
gentlemen were also in the town during the week : The Marquis 
of Downshire, the Marquis of Bute, the Earl of Hardwicke, the 
Earl of Durham, the Earl of Sheffield, Lord Rivers, Lord Hawke, 
Baron Knesebeck, the Marquis de St. Oppootune, from the Azores, 
Dr. Moberg, from Copenhagen, M. Kynander, from Finland, 
C. F. W. Jeppe, Rostock, &c., &c. On the 17th a general meeting 
of the society was held in the Music Hall, which concluded the 
proceedings. Lord Portman, who presided, paid a high compliment 
to the mayor (Dr. Headlam), the corporation, and the local com- 
mittee, for the excellent arrangements they had made. 


1846 (July 30). Died, at Westgate-hill, Newcastle, aged 79, Mr. 
Robert Roxby, many years clerk in Sir M. W. Ridley and Co.'s 
bank. As a member of society, Mr. Roxby conciliated the esteem 
and respect of all who had the happiness to be acquainted with 
him. In the local literature of the North of England he was also 
favourably known. His "Lay of the Reedswater Minstrel" and 
various minor poetical pieces have been many years before the 

D 1 


world, and in connection with his Coquetdale Fishing Songs" his 
name will long be remembered in these districts. 

1846 (July 3l> The great Ford tithe cause, between the Rev. 
Thomas Knight and the Marquis of Waterford, came on for trial 
at the Northumberland Assizes, before Mr. Justice Wightman, 
the Court of Exchequer having determined that the ruling of 
Baron Rolfe, on a previous occasion, was erroneous. The 
jury, after a four days trial, found a verdict for the plaintiff, 
thus establishing the claim of the rector to the tithes. The 
dispute was eventually compromised, the plaintiff receiving 
10,000 for his retrospective claims and a rent charge of 800 
per annum. 

August 7. An inquiry was instituted before Mr. William 
Baker, deputy -coroner, at the Crown, High-street, Shadwell, 
London, relative to the death of Mr. Isaac Tucker, aged 37, whose 
death occurred from intoxication. It appeared that the deceased, 
who resided at Gateshead, where he carried on the business of a 
pipe maker, was the author of two dramatic works, which he was 
desirous should be published by a London house. He had gone to 
London for that purpose, and whilst there obtained a tasting order 
for the London docks, where the deceased drank about half-a-pint 
of different wines. On leaving there he went to the Old Rose, 
Shadwell, and had two glasses of brandy and water. The deceased 
then became insensible, and in this state he was removed to the 
station, in King David-lane, where he was left. In about half-an- 
hour he seemed in a dying state, when Mr. Ross, a surgeon, 
was sent for. He tried to bleed him, but without effect, and 
life became extinct. Verdict " Apoplexy from excessive 

August 9. Newcastle and neighbourhood were visited by a 
violent thunderstorm and heavy rain. The storm proceeded 
in a westward direction, and about two o'clock the electric fluid 
struck a row of houses, called Greenhow's-terrace, Scotswood- 
road, and did considerable damage. No fewer than fifteen persons 
were struck down ; some of them were dreadfully scorched in 
various parts of the body. Medical assistance was at once pro- 
cured and the whole were eventually restored to consciousness. 
Three bridges erected over the Middleton Beck, on the Tees, were 
carried away ; the bridge at Egglesburn was thrown down, and a a 
number of cottages at Egglestone were almost entirely demolished. 
At Barnard Castle the river rose 15 feet above its usual level, and 
a great number of sheep, lambs, and pigs, and an immense 
quantity of hay were lost. At Milburn, Northumberland, the 
lightning set fire to a hawker's cart, which, with its contents were 

August 21. Great sensation was created in Berwick, this 
morning, on it becoming known that the North of England Branch 
Bank had been entered during the night, and notes and coin to 
the amount of 3,000 carried away. It appeared that Mr. 
Thompson, the resident agent, had been from home on a leave of 

A.D. 184 6.1 REMARKABLE EVENTS. 211 

absence for a fortnight. In the morning the robbery was dis- 
covered by a servant, when the safe was found unlocked, a bolt 
proceeding from the room above having been raised and the whole 
of the property removed. Intelligence of the robbery was imme- 
diately forwarded to Newcastle, and Mr. Burdis, accompanied by 
Mr. Stephens, superintendent of police, proceeded to Berwick 
without delay. On their arrival, watchmen were stationed round 
the bank. A searching examination of the premises was then 
made, and, as the result proved, with perfect success. All the 
gold and the whole of the silver were discovered secreted under 
the stairs in the kitchen, and the whole of the notes were soon 
afterwards found in the bedroom of Mrs. Thompson, wife of the 
manager, sewed up in the bolsters and bedding. Mrs. Thompson 
was immediately apprehended and was tried for the offence on the 
26th October, before the recorder, Mr. Ingham, but the testimony 
of the female servants being somewhat contradictory she was 

1846 (October 5). A melancholy affair took place in a field 
adjoining Benton-lane, Newcastle, which ended in the death of a 
man, named Daniel Hives. The deceased was employed in the 
construction of the Newcastle and Berwick Railway, and a few 
minutes before the occurrence had been struck and severely 
injured by two Irish navvies, named George Mathews and John 
Hughes. He immediately followed them, the men threatening to 
murder him if he came near them. He persisted, however, and 
the party at length reached a field in which Captain Potts, a 
magistrate, was standing, when Hives having appealed to him the 
captain also followed the men and told them they should not 
escape. Suddenly the Irishmen turned round and came up to 
their pursuers, when Mathews pushed Captain Potts aside and 
plunged a knife into the right groin of the unfortunate Hives and 
killed him on the spot. Through the coolness and persistency of 
Captain Potts the men were soon after captured. On February 
27th, 1847, they were tried before Baron Rolfe, when Mathews 
was convicted of the murder and Hughes was acquitted. Mathews 
was executed at Morpeth on the 17th March following. 

October 12. An accident of a most extraordinary character 
occurred this evening at Walker Iron Works, near Newcastle, the 
property of Messrs. Losh, Wilson, & Bell. It appeared that cries 
of distress were raised in a portion of the premises, and, on search 
being made, a man named Davies and a youth named Spearman 
were found dead on the floor of a privy. It was then discovered 
that one of the branches from the great blast pipe was leaking, 
and the air in it having become impregnated with carbonic oxide 
and carbonic acid gas, the place had become filled with the poisonous 
mixture, and the deceased had been suffocated. In about half- 
an-hour after this lamentable occurrence, another catastrophe took 
place, by the bursting of the air receiver, the explosion of which, 
was so terrific that it was heard for several miles around. One 
man, named Robert Rogers, standing near the mouth of the 


regulator, was blown a prodigious distance and killed immediately, 
and some others had fractured limbs. The reservoir itself, though 
of great solidity, was blown to fragments, and one piece of it, after 
rising an immense height, descended upon a wooden post, 170 yards 
from its original seat, with such violence, that the post actually 
pierced the thick iron plate. Nearly all the windows in the 
neighbourhood were blown out by the force of the explosion 
which caused great excitement from the singular circumstances 
attending it. 

1846 (November 9). The election of mayors for the boroughs in 
the counties of Northumberland and Durham took place, with the 
following result: Newcastle James Archbold, esq., mayor; 
Joseph Crawhall, esq., sheriff. Gateshead Thomas Revely, esq. 
Sunderland Robert Brown, esq. Durham William Davison, esq, 
Stockton John Crosby, esq. Morpeth Richard Lewins, esq. 
Berwick George Johnston, esq., M.D., mayor; Alexander Cahill, 
esq., M.D., sheriff. 

November 10. The foundation-stone of Trinity Presbyterian 
Chapel, New Bridge-street, Newcastle, was laid by the Right 
Hon. Fox Maule, M. P., Secretary at War. The church was 
designed by Mr. Dobson, and is in the early English style, with 
very little ornament, but has two angular towers 82 feet in height. 
It accommodates 850 hearers. The expense of the building was 
3,000. A public breakfast took place previous to the ceremony, 
at which the mayor and sheriff of the town attended. The 
chapel was opened October 8th, 1847, by the Rev. J. Hamilton, of 

December 12. One of the greatest snowstorms which has 
occurred during the present century, commenced this morning 
throughout Northumberland and Durham. The trains upon the 
various railways converging to Newcastle, were greatly delayed, 
and towards the evening they were altogether brought to a stand ; 
one train from the south being blocked up at Leamside, and a 
second at Fence Houses. The storm extended as far north as 
Edinburgh, west to Haydon Bridge, and south to Darlington. On 
the 13th no train whatever was able to leave Newcastle, and, to 
clear the line southwards, six engines, coupled together, conveying 
about 200 excavators, were ordered to Fence Houses, but, after 
five hours exertion, they were only able to reach Washington. The 
mail which left Newcastle for the north, with much difficulty 
reached Newton-on-the-Moor, where it was blocked up in a snow- 
drift, 20 feet deep. A young man, belonging to Chillingham, lost 
his life near Lilburn. Much injury was done to household pro- 
perty during the storm, by the falling of roofs, owing to the immense 
quantity of snow accumulated upon them. The eaves of a house 
in Richmond-street, Newcastle, gave way, and the entire roof was 
precipitated into the street. The roof of a house in Norfolk-street, 
North Shields, occupied by Mr. Moffat, tailor, was forced off in 
the same manner. The poor were put to cruel privations in conse- 
quence of the traffic in coal being quite suspended, as well as all 


out-door employment, but a thaw set in on the evening of the 
18th, and the snow gradually disappeared. 

1847 (January II). A seizure was made by Mr. Thompson, 
collector of excise, of a soap manufactory in the New-road, 
Newcastle, when it was discovered that, besides the small apparatus 
ordinarily seen at work, the parties had formed a communication 
with an adjoining warehouse by the means of an ingeniously con- 
structed secret door, and a large quantity of soap was found 
therein. The loss to the revenue was calculated to have been 
upwards of 6,000. The place was occupied by four brothers, 
named Allan. 

January 16. Died, at Westoe, aged 59, Christopher Blackett, 
esq., of Wylam. Mr. Blackett entered the army early in life, 
and served for some time under Sir Henry Burrard and the Duke 
of Wellington in the Peninsular campaigns. On the return of 
peace he settled at his ancient family seat of Oakwood, near 
Newcastle, and in 1830 he was elected a representative of the 
borough of Beeralston, for which he sat until the general election 
in 1831. In 1836 he was invited to come forward for Newcastle, 
on the death of Sir Matthew White Ridley, bart., but after a very 
exciting contest he was defeated by John Hodgson, esq., of 
Elswick, Hodgson polling 1,576, Blackett 1,528. In the following 
year, however, he was elected for South Northumberland, without 
opposition, and he represented the county till 1841, when his 
declining health obliged him to retire into private life. The 
deceased was succeeded in his estates by his eldest son, J. F. B. 
Blackett, esq. 

January 19. A public meeting was held in Newcastle, Sir 
John Fife, in the absence of the Mayor (James Archbold, esq.), 
in the chair, for considering the best means of relieving the awful 
famine prevailing in Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. 
Upwards of 4,000 were subscribed in the town and neighbour- 
hood, and transmitted for the relief of the sufferers. Similar 
meetings were held at the other towns in the district, and the total 
amount subscribed was exceedingly large. 

February 7. This day t'he retired and pleasant village of 
Newbrough, situated about five miles west of Hexham, was 
thrown into a state of great excitement by a report that Thomas 
Proud, hind to Mr. Maughan, of Newbrough Lodge, had been 
murdered by a young man, named James Welch, a labourer at 
Prudholm Quarry. It appeared that a child of Proud's had been 
christened during the day, and the parties had afterwards retired 
to a Mr. Surtees' public house, at Newbrough. Whilst there, 
Welch and Proud quarrelled, and when the party left Welch 
followed Proud and cut his throat with a clasp-knife in a dreadful 
manner. Proud died almost immediately. The murderer, who 
was apprehended at Fourstones, about a mile distant, was tried 
before Baron Rolfe, on the 26th instant, and convicted of the 
murder. He was accordingly executed at Morpeth on the 17th 



1847 (February II). Died, at Alnwick Castle, in his 62nd year, 
His Grace the Duke of Northumberland. His grace had been 
suffering for a short time from an attack of influenza, but he 
eventually died somewhat suddenly. Hugh, Duke and Earl of 
Northumberland, Earl Percy, Baron Percy and Warkworth, was 
Lord-Lieutenant and Gustos Rotulorum of the county of North- 
umberland, Vice-Admiral of Northumberland and Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne, Constable of Launceston Castle, Chancellor of the University 
of Cambridge, President of the Royal Humane Society, and Fellow 
of numerous learned institutions. His grace was born on the 20th 
April, 1785, and, after being educated at Eton and Cambridge, he 
entered Parliament in 1806, as member for Buckingham. In 
1807 his grace was returned for the county of Northumberland, 
which he continued to represent until 1812, when he was called to 
the House of Lords by the title of Baron Percy. In July, 1817, 
he succeeded his father in the family honours, and in 1825 his 
grace was required to serve his majesty as Ambassador Extra- 
ordinary at the coronation of Charles X., King of France. The 
whole expense of that costly mission was defrayed by his grace, 
who astonished the Continental nobility by the magnitude of his 
retinue, the gorgeousness of his equipage, and the profuseness of 
his liberality. In politics the deceased was a firm and consistent 
Conservative, in private life he was generous without ostentation, 
and the extent of his liberality was commensurate with the ample 
means at his disposal. The duke married, in 1817, Lady Charlotte 
Forentia Clive, youngest daughter of Earl Powis, a lady whose 
polished manners and general amiability won for her the distin- 
guished office of governess to her present majesty. February 19th, 
the remains of his grace arrived at Newcastle, on their way to 

A.D. 1847.1 



London, for interment in Westminster Abbey. The mournful 
procession was met on the Town Moor by the Mayor, Sheriff, and 
several members of the Town Council of the borough. The shops 
were closed throughout the town. Minute guns were fired from 
the Old Castle, and the flag hung half-staff high. About thirty 
carriages joined in the procession, together with 200 horsemen. 
A long line of Newcastle gentlemen, including some members of 
the Society of Friends, followed the hearse on foot to the Gates- 
head station, where the Mayor and Corporation were also in 
attendance, Lord Prudhoe joined the train at Darlington, to 
officiate as chief mourner at the interment, which took place on 
the 23rd with much ceremony. The noble family of Percy is 
descended from Mainfred, a Danish chieftain, who made irruptions 
into France in the ninth century, and whose posterity, settling in 
Normandy, took their name from their domain of Percy, in that 
province. William de Percy, with his brother Serio, came over 
to England with the Conqueror, and obtained large possessions in 
York and Lincolnshire. In the reign of Henry II., Agnes, heiress 
of the Percy family, married Joceline de Loraine, second son of 
Godfrey, Duke of Brabant, who thereupon assumed the name of 
Percy. Their descendants were among the most powerful barons 
in the North of England. 


1847 (February 14J. An accident occurred on the Newcastle 
and North Shields Railway, by which Mr. William Robson, son 
of Mr. Robson, draper, Dean-street, Newcastle, was killed. It 


appeared that the deceased, being late on reaching the Howden 
station, ran on to the platform without paying his fare, and, as the 
train had started, he proceeded direct to a carriage, but being too 
precipitate in opening the door, he lost his balance, and, swinging 
round, fell underneath the carriages, and the wheels of six of 
them went over his legs before the train could be stopped. He 
was conveyed to Newcastle with all possible despatch, but before 
the train reached the station he had breathed his last. 

1847 (February 23). An alarming fire occurred this afternoon in 
the premises of Messrs. Copland and Jones, wholesale chemists, 
Sandhill, Newcastle, unfortunately attended with loss of life. Mr. 
Nicholas Moody, the clerk, and a labourer, named John Bowman, 
were engaged in sealing a carboy of turpentine in the upper storey 
of the premises, when the liquid, by some means, took fire, and the 
vessel bursting from the heat, the place was soon in one body of 
flame. Mr. Copland and an assistant, named Lockey, escaped by 
jumping out of a window, but Moody and Bowman, although they 
succeeded in getting down stairs, died in the Infirmary very shortly 
after. The damage was estimated at upwards of 1,200. 

March 6. The drafts of the North of England Joint Stock 
Bank were refused payment in London, and, on the intelligence 
reaching Newcastle on the following day, the greatest consternation 
prevailed. The chief office of the company was in the Arcade, 
Newcastle, but it had branches in Sunderland, North and South 
Shields, Durham, Berwick, Morpeth, Blyth, Hexham, Alnwick, 
and Wooler. The bank was commenced in 1832, being the first 
on the joint stock principle established in Newcastle, its nominal 
capital being 2,000,000, in 20,000 shares of 100 each, but the 
amount absolutely paid up was only 31-0,755 on 18,096 shares, 
and 420 proprietors were on the register at the time of the failure. 
Very heavy losses had been incurred by the company at an early 
period of its existence, and it subsequently transpired that the entire 
paid up capital was lost, prior to 1837. The liabilities of the 
concern, when the suspension occurred, amounted to 1,864,854, 
and the deficiency was then estimated at 144,493, but that sum 
proved to be only about one-third of the actual loss borne by the 
shareholders. All attempts to raise the required amount, by 
voluntary calls, proved ineffectual, and the bank was placed under 
the powers of the Joint Stock Companies' Winding- Up Act in 
November, 1848, three official managers, Messrs. Henderson, 
Hewson, and Ross, being appointed. A call of 30 per share, 
made by them, produced 240,000 ; a second call of 20 realized 
100,000; and a third of 15, 35,000, the diminished amount 
showing the exhausted condition of the unfortunate shareholders. 
In June, 1855, 3 per share were returned to the comparatively 
small number of persons who had paid the whole of the calls, and 
this was shortly afterwards followed by a second return of 5, and 
a third of 7 per share. 

March 20. This morning, about nine o'clock, a fatal boiler 
explosion occurred at Burradon Colliery, iiear Newcastle. A few 


minutes previous to the occurrence, the engineman, on examining 
the floa^ found the water more than a foot above the working 
mark, but, as the steam was low, he gave directions to the stoker, 
Robert Thompson, to raise the fires, soon after which the boiler 
suddenly burst with a tremendous noise, carrying away part of the 
engine-house and chimney, killing three persons, and injuring, more 
or less, several of the workmen at the shaft. The engineman 
escaped, though much scalded and bruised, but the stoker, a female, 
named Margaret Proctor, and a boy, named James Gordon, were 
killed on the spot. 

1847 (March 25J. The Right Hon. George Dawson, one of the 
Commissioners of Her Majesty's Customs, met, by appointment at 
the Custom House, Newcastle, deputations from the Corporation, 
and the Chamber of Commerce of Newcastle, and the shipowners 
and merchants of North and South Shields, to consider the 
applications for increased Custom House facilities at the latter 
place. The Newcastle deputation consisted of the Mayor, the 
Town Clerk, Aid. Hodgson, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. R. Plummer, 
Mr. W. H. Brockett, Mr. W. B. Hunter, Mr. John Jobling, Mr. 
S. Lowery, &c., and that from Shields consisted of Mr. Mitcalfe, 
M.P., Mr. Dale, Mr. Linskill, Mr. Barker, Mr. Crighton, Mr. 
Leitch, Mr. Pow, Mr. Shotton, Mr. Dryden, Mr. C. Laws, Mr. 
Spencer, Mr. Anderson, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Swinburne, &c. It 
was ultimately decided that those gentlemen should meet a deputa- 
tion of Newcastle merchants to discuss the subject, and on the 
following day, it was determined, without any dissent, that the port 
of Newcastle should remain undivided, but that auxiliary establish- 
ments should be formed at North and South Shields, affording the 
same facilities to merchants in those towns as were possessed by 
persons resident in Newcastle. A document to this effect was 
signed by all the parties present, and it was laid before Mr. Dawson, 
on the 27th, when that gentleman expressed his gratification at the 
harmonious result of their deliberations, 

March. About this time. Messrs. Carr & Co. had in their 
possession, at the Mansion House, in the Close, Newcastle, an oak 
tree, containing upwards of three hundred cubic feet of timber 
most of it sound which had recently been extricated from the bed 
of the river Tyne, where it must have been for many centuries. 

April 17. A serious accident occurred at the Crookhall Iron 
Works, near Shotley Bridge, by which six persons were killed 
and several others seriously injured. It appeared that an old 
man and his daughter, ballad singers, went to the works and were 
engaged in amusing the men with a song when the boiler suddenly 
burst with a tremendous explosion killing the old man and his 
daughter, the fireman, two of the workmen, and a stranger. 
The boiler was torn to pieces and portions of it were blown an, 
immense distance. 

April 20. A young man, named John Bourne, respectably 
attired, took up his residence at Mr. John Cox's, Ord's Arms Inn, 
Scotswood, near Newcastle, for the ostensible purpose of being 



trained by Henry Clasper to row a skiff match at Manchester, 
and Mr. Cox, in order to make him comfortable, gave up his 
own sleeping apartment in which was a chest of drawers con- 
taining a sum of money amounting to upwards of 200. Bourne s 
deportment, altogether, was such that not the slightest suspicion 
was attached to his proceedings until this afternoon, when the 
drawer containing the money, together with a cash box m which 
it was deposited, were found to have been broken open, and the 
entire contents taken away. Information of the robbery, with a 
full description of Bourne, was conveyed to Mr. Stephens, the 
superintendent of police at Newcastle, who immediately put into 
operation the electric telegraph. On Bourne making his appear- 
ance on the platform at Normanton Station, he was immediately 
taken into custody with the whole of the money in his possession. 
He was tried at the Northumberland Midsummer Sessions and 
sentenced to ten years' transportation. 

1847 (April 26> Mr. Thomas Harrison, a respectable plumber 
and glazier in Alnwick, 60 years of age, committed suicide this 
morning whilst in a depressed state of mind, arising from his 
heavy liabilities, as a shareholder, in the North of England Joint 
Stock Bank. 

^[ ay 7. A fatal accident occurred at Messrs. Spoor's file 
manufactory, Hanover-square, Newcastle. One of the workmen, 
named Thomas Stockdale, aged 31, while at work at a large 
grindstone, which was turned by the factory engine, injudiciously 
allowed it to go at too much speed, when, suddenly, it split in 
three pieces, one part ascending upwards with such force that it 
broke through the roof, the second downwards through the floor, 
and the third struck Stockdale on the forehead and killed him on 
the spot, while his wife who was standing by his side escaped 

May 19. An old man, named Archibald Elliott, but better 
known in the neighbourhood of Morpeth as " Auld Archie," waa 
drowned in a stream near Ulgham, whilst conveying the mail bags 
to that place. He was a curious little deformed old man, 84 
years of age, and, although unable either to read or write, none 
could deliver a message better, and seldom, if ever, did he make a 
mistake with any letters entrusted to his keeping, which showed 
his wonderful memory, as it was only by the size or shape of a 
letter that he could tell who it belonged to or from whom he had 
received it. He was only four feet in height, and had carried the 
mail between Morpeth and Widdrington, with the assistance of 
his ass " Billy,'* for upwards of thirty years. 

June 16. A groom, named Nicholas Morrow, in the service 
of Miss Walters, Whickham, near Gateshead, absconded, taking 
with him two sovereigns belonging to his mistress. Nothing was 
heard of him until the 19th, when, in consequence of the house 
having been entered during the night, and Miss Walters' cash box, 
containing 20, and a number of jewels to the value of 400, 
having been taken away, suspicion fell upon the lad. Superinten- 


dent Hall was informed of the robbery, and in a short time 
Morrow was traced to the Crown Inn, South Shields, where he 
had displayed a purse containing a large sum of money. He was 
immediately conveyed to prison, and on searching him upwards of 
144 and some silver was found upon him, as well as a pistol, 
spyglass, and patent lever watch. 

1847 (June 17) Died, at North Shields, Mr. Joseph Laing. jun., 
solicitor and bank agent. The deceased was an enthusiastic 
admirer of his native town, and was at all times foremost in the 
advocacy of any measure calculated to promote the comfort and 
happiness of his fellow townsmen. To him the borough was 
principally indebted for the new Town Hall, and a fine bust of 
him was afterwards executed at the cost of his friends and placed 
in that building. 

June 22. A dreadful explosion took place at the Felling 
Colliery, near Gateshead, the property of Messrs. Carr and Co., 
by which four men, two boys, eighteen horses, and two ponies 
were killed. Only four persons in the mine escaped unhurt. 

June 22. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
North Derby was won by Lord Eglinton's br c Van Tromp, 
by Lanercost (Marson), beating Helias, George Hudson, and 
Christopher. The Northumberland Plate was won by Lord 
Eglinton's b c Eyrx (Prince), beating Executor, Conjuror, 
Grimstone, Inheritress, and ten others. The Gold Cup was won 
by Mr. Greene's b c The Conjuror, beating Grimstone, Helias, 
Winesour, and Sir Tatton Sykes. Grimstone and Conjuror ran a 
dead heat. The Gold Cup was substituted by a silver centre 
piece, manufactured by Messrs. Reid and Sons, representing an 
American Indian taming a wild horse on the prairies. 

June 25. Died, at -Cologne, aged 72, Lieutenant- General Sir 
Henry Askew, K.C.B., of Pallinsburn, Northumberland, The 
deceased entered the army in 1793, and served with great credit 
in Flanders and the Peninsula and at the battle of Waterloo. His 
remains were interred at Ford on July 14th. 

July 1. The remaining portion of the Newcastle and Berwick 
Railway, namely from Morpeth to Chathill, was opened for 
public traffic, thus completing the great line of railway communi- 
cation between London and Edinburgh. On July 5th the mail 
coach between Newcastle and Edinburgh arrived in the former 
town for the last time, after being established sixty-one years. 
The pace required by the Post-office, at its establishment, in 
November, 1786, was seven miles an hour, and no innkeeper in 
the town could then be found to contract for a speed considered so 
ruinous to horseflesh except the landlord of the Cock Inn, Head of 
the Side. For some years before its discontinuance its speed 
averaged ten miles an hour. 

July 17. A race, between the Scottish Maid arid Harvest 
Home steamboats, for 50, came off at sea, from, the Herd buoy, 
at the mouth of the Tyne, to the buoy off Sunderland bar and back, 
a distance of about 12 miles. As this was the first match between 


two Tyne boats, considerable interest was excited, which was 
increased by the fact that, independent of the wager, it was a 
trial of the capabilities of the builders and engine-makers of the 
respective boats. The Scottish Maid, owned by Mr. A. Strong, 
was built by Mr. James Dovvey, and the engines were fitted up by 
Messrs. Conolly and Scott. The Harvest Home, the property of 
Mr. Joseph Hall, was built by Mr. William Cooper, and the engines 
fitted up by Mr. J. Almond, all of North Shields. The boats were 
alike in size, with 25-inch cylinders to the engines, equal to 22 
horse power. The Harvest Home had the call in the betting at 
5 to 4. They went off with considerable swiftness, leaving all the 
other boats behind, some of them of 40-horse power. After a 
gallant run, the Scottish Maid came back a winner by about half- 
a-mile. The distance was gone over in one hour and twelve 

1847 (July 23). This day Parliament was dissolved and writs 
were immediately issued for the new elections. The following 
was the result in this district : 


The nomination of candidates took place on the 28th, before 
the sheriff, Joseph Crawshay, esq. Mr. Alderman Potter pro- 
posed, and Mr. John Thomas Carr seconded, William Ord, esq. 
Mr. Alderman Lamb proposed, and Mr. John Rayne seconded, 
Thomas Emerson Headlam, esq. Mr. John Cookson proposed, 
and Mr. Robert Plummer seconded, Richard Hodgson, esq. The 
candidates having addressed the electors, the show of hands was 
declared to be in favour of Mr. Ord and Mr. Headlam, and the 
poll, on the following day, closed with a similar result, the num- 
bers being Ord, 2,196 ; Headlam, 2,068 ; Hodgson, 1,680. 


July 28. Mr. Hutt was returned without opposition. 


July 28. R. W. Grey, esq., of Chipchase, was elected without 


William Henry Miller, esq,, Matthew Forster, esq., and John 
Campbell Renton, esq., were the candidates. The following was 
the result : Forster, 484 ; Renton, 463; Miller, 151. 


July 29. John Twizell Wawn, esq., was proposed by Mr. A. 
Harrison and seconded by Mr. S. Skee. W. Whately, esq., Q.C., 
was proposed by Mr. J. W. Roxby and seconded by Mr. W. 
Marshall. A person, named Thomas Dickinson, a chartist, well 
known as " The Manchester Packer" was proposed by Mr. W. 
Brown and seconded by Mr. Gilroy. The show of hands was in 
favour of Dickinson who retired, and the poll, on the following 
day, was as follows : Wawn, 333 j Whately, 176. 



1847 (July 29). Mr. Henry Marshall proposed Thomas Colpitts 
Granger, esq., who was seconded by Mr. Mark Stobart. Mr. A. 
Wilkinson proposed, and Mr. G. Shaw seconded, Captain David 
Edward Wood. Mr. John Henderson proposed, and Mr. Alder- 
man Shields seconded, Henry John Spearman, esq. At the close 
of the poll, on the 30th, the numbers were : Granger, 595 ; 
Spearman, 519 ; Wood, 450. 


July 30. There being no contest for this borough the Hon. E. 
G. G. Howard was re-elected. 


August 2. Dr. Brown proposed David Barclay, esq., who was 
seconded by Mr. James Allison. Mr. J. J. Wright proposed 
George Hudson, esq., and Mr. R. Spoor seconded the nomination. 
Mr. W. Mordey proposed, arid Mr. J. Wilson seconded, William 
Arthur Wilkinson, esq. At the close of the poll the numbers 
were : Hudson, 878 ; Barclay, 646 ; Wilkinson, 569. 


August 3. This election took place before the high sheriff, 
John Fawcett, esq., when Robert Duncombe Shafto, esq., and 
Viscount Seaham were unanimously elected. The Hon. H. T. 
Liddell and Colonel Beckwith who had been candidates withdrew 
a few days before, 


August 5. Lord Harry Vane and James Farrer, esq., were 
elected without opposition. 


August 5. Matthew Bell, esq., and Saville H. C. Ogle, esq., 
were re-elected without opposition. 


August 7. The nomination of candidates took place at Alnwick, 
before the high sheriff, J. H. H. Atkinson, esq., and intense 
interest was excited, not only in the district but throughout the 
kingdom. Mr. C. W. Orde proposed, and Mr. B. Burrell seconded, 
Lord Ossulston. Mr. O. A. B. Cresswell nominated, and Mr. F. 
Sitwell seconded, Lord Lovaine. Lord Frederick Fitzclarence 
proposed, and Mr. Prideaux Selby seconded, Sir George Grey, 
bart. At the conclusion of the polling, which took place on the 
10th and llth, the result was as follows : Grey, 1,366 ; Ossul- 
ston, 1,247 ; Lovaine, 1,236. 

August 9. This evening the paper manufactory of Messrs. N. 
Grace and Co., at Scotswood, near Newcastle, was discovered to 
be on fire, and, although several fire-engines were immediately 
despatched from Newcastle, the flames consumed the whole of the 
premises. The stock and valuable machinery were also destroyed, 


and the damage was estimated at upwards of 8,000. The fire 
blazed with great fury for some time and attracted spectators for 
miles around. 

1847 (August 9). A melancholy accident occurred to Mary 
Bell, a servant at the Half-Moon Inn, Mosley-street, Newcastle, 
who, while cleaning a second story window, missed her hold and 
fell on to the pavement. She was immediately taken to the 
Infirmary but died in a few hours. 

September 2. Married, at Wynyard, by the Bishop of Durham, 
the Earl of Portarlington to the Lady Alexandrina Vane, 
second daughter of the Marquis of Londonderry. Amongst 
the company present were the Dukes of Rutland, Cleveland, and 
Devonshire, Viscounts Somerton, Dungannon, and Combermere, 
Lords Belhaven and Eliot, Sir Robert Peel, Sir J. W. Hogg, &c., 
&c. A grand banquet was given in the evening to the distinguished 
visitors, and on the following day a splendid ball and supper were 
prepared, to which all the leading inhabitants of the district were 

September 8. A public dinner was given in the Turk's Head 
Inn, in commemoration of the election of Messrs. Ord and 
Headlam as members for Newcastle, and generally to celebrate 
the triumph of the Liberal principles in the district. Ralph Carr, 
esq., of Dunstan Hill, presided, and the vice-chairs were occupied 
by Sir John Fife, Mr. Alderman Losh, Mr. G-. Fenwick, and Mr. 
John Blackwell. Upwards of 260 gentlemen were present, and 
the proceedings were very animated. 

September 17. Two men, named Thomas Dobinson and Walter 
Murray, descended the pump shaft of Percy Main Colliery, 
near North Shields, for the purpose of examining the pumping 
gear which is used for the purpose of drawing the water from the 
mine. The men who undertake this job are lowered down by 
means of a gin rope, wrought with horses, and, to facilitate the 
intercourse with the surface a string leads up the shaft to a bell. 
Having completed their work, they gave the signal to pull up. 
The horses went to their work and the rope ascended, when 
suddenly something seemed to check it, the horses put forth their 
strength, and the rope came up without the men. It was broken, 
and a frightful calamity had happened, the rope having got 
entangled in the scaffolding. They were lulled on the spot. 

September 25. An alarming fire broke out in the farm-yard 
of Mr. Goundry, a respectable farmer, residing at the village of 
Westoe, near South Shields. It appeared that a chimney 
belonging to a cottage immediately adjoining the farm-yard was 
on fire, and a spark was seen by Fenwick Shotton, mason, to fall 
on the thatched roof of the thrashing machine, and set it on fire. 
The flames, notwithstanding every exertion to stay their progress, 
spread rapidly towards the corn stacks, and set one on fire. The 
wind, blowing strong at the time, increased the force of the 
devouring element, until all the stacks in the yard and a large barn 
were, one after another, set on fire. Nothing could withstand the 


fury of the flames. The whole produce of a harvest, amounting to 
fifteen stacks of corn and three of hay, with the barn and thrashing 
machine, were on fire at one moment. During the progress of the 
fire several persons entered Mr. Goundry's house and proceeded to 
throw the furniture into the street, and pulled down the doors and 
tore out the windows, breaking and destroying everything in their 
way, making the house a complete wreck. Portions of the goods 
were also stolen, and persons were seen carrying away boxes and 
other pieces of furniture through the fields to South Shields. The 
property was uninsured, but a handsome subscription was raised 
for the unfortunate sufferer. 

1847 (September 27). Died, in Newcastle, William Maclaclan, an 
eccentric character, better known in the town and neighbourhood 
by the cognomen of " Cuddie Willie." He was generally seen 
wandering amongst the low public houses of the town, and gained 
a precarious subsistence as an itinerant musician, his violin being 
generally formed of a flat uncouth-looking piece of wood, upon 
which he contrived to fasten one or two strings. He was scarcely 
ever seen to wear either a hat or shoes, and if decent clothing were 
given to him it was generally made away with for liquor, of which 
he was immoderately fond. All efforts to reclaim him proved 
entirely fruitless, and his death was at last caused by a prolonged 
fit of drunkenness, 

September 29. A remarkable case of fraud and imposture 
was brought before Mr. Commissioner Evans in the Bankruptcy 
Court. A Mr. Donald Maclean, who had, in 1839, purchased the 
Witton Castle estate of Sir William Chaytor for 100,000, was 
the bankrupt. Although the money was never paid during his 
residence at Witton, he took an active part in the affairs and trade 
of the county, and maintained a splendid establishment. In 1846 
Mr. Maclean agreed to pay to Mr. Brett, a picture dealer, 7,000 
for Titian's picture called the " Six Cassars," and Murillo's 
" Abraham and the Angels." An arrangement was made, by which 
Mr. Maclean was to deliver, in payment of the money, 20,000 tons 
of coal, at 7s. a ton, for a French railway with which Mr. Brett was 
connected. Fortunately for the latter, he discovered the state of 
Mr. Maclean's affairs before the pictures were delivered, and con- 
sequently retained them. In a case heard in the Bail Court on the 
27th April, 1847, in which Mr. Brett was sued for payment of 
350, on a promissory note, given as a commission to a Mr. 
Gomperty on account of the above abortive sale, it was stated that 
Mr. Maclean had become a bankrupt, but had gone abroad, and 
had never, under pretence of illness, surrendered to the fiat, but 
was enjoying himself in Lucca, Naples, or some other part of Italy, 
and in good health. It was stated that his debts amounted to 
180,000, and his assets scarcely to 100. One of the witnesses, 
Mr. R. Abraham, said " I am a shareholder of the bank of which 
Mr. Maclean was a director. It is the Marylebone Bank. I knew, 
after investigating the accounts of the bank in 1842, that he was 
in embarrassed circumstances. He had never any property of his 



[A.D. 1847. 

own at all, but lived on the credulity and property of others. His 
debts at that time amounted to 78,000, and there was only about 
100 assets. The bank was insolvent through Mr. Maclean's 
misconduct." As the time allowed for Mr. Maclean's surrender 
had expired on the preceding day, he was outlawed in the usual 
form. The Witton estate, with the castle, park, and domain, the 
collieries, advowsons, and tythe rents were advertised for sale, by 
an order of the High Court of Chancery. On the 20th September, 
1850, Mrs. Maclean was taking a drive in her carriage, at Castel- 
lamore, near Naples, when the horses took fright and ran away. 
The lady was consequently thrown from the carriage, and sustained 
such severe injuries that, after lingering a few hours, she expired. 
She was the daughter of the late General Maitland. 


1847 (October 21J. Another disastrous bank failure took place, 
the Newcastle, Shields, and Sunderland Union Joint Stock 
Banking Company having announced to the public that, " in 
consequence of the extreme difficulty in obtaining discounts, they 
were under the painful necessity of suspending payment." The 
bank was originally a private one, conducted by Messrs. Chapman 
and Co., and became a joint stock establishment in 1836. The 
dividend declared by Mr. Chapman, the " general director," had 
never been less than 10 per cent, per annum, besides an accumu- 
lated guarantee fund of 60,000. At the time of the failure there 
were about 500 proprietors, holding 30,480 shares of 10 each, 
one-half of which amount (152,400) was paid up. It had branches 
in Sunderland, North and South Shields, Durham, Alnwick, and 
Berwick, and as it issued its own notes to the amount of about 
75,000, the failure caused a great sensation throughout the 
district. A committee of the shareholders was appointed, who 
attempted to liquidate the liabilities of the concern, but Mr. 


Chapman, who decamped, and many other persons, having refused 
to make any payment for that object, on the 25th of February, 
1853, the bank was placed under the provisions of the Winding-up 
Act, and a call of 20, made by the official managers, would, it 
was expected, pay off the liabilities of the concern, and possibly 
leave a considerable balance. 

1847 (November 2). Died, in Newcastle, aged 41, the Right 
Rev. Dr. Riddell, Roman Catholic Bishop of the Northern District. 
The death of this estimable clergyman was caused by an attack of 
typhus fever, caught while assisting his clergy in the arduous duty 
of attending to the numerous poor belonging to his denomination, 
who were then suffering under that malignant malady. The 
deceased was a native of Northumberland, and connected with an 
ancient family, being the third son of the late Ralph Riddell, esq., 
of Felton Park. He was in the prime of life, and apparently 
remarkably hale, and the amiability of his disposition rendered 
him beloved by his friends and all who held intercourse with him. 
November 8th, the remains of the deceased were conveyed from 
his residence, in Charlotte-square, to the chapel, in Clayton-street, 
the procession being conducted with great ceremony. The body 
lay in state during the night, and the following day the interment 
took place, mass being performed by Cardinal Wiseman, 
assisted by Bishop Briggs, of York, Bishop Gillies, of Edinburgh, 
Bishop Wareiug, of Northampton, and a great number of the 

November 2. A skiff match for 200, between two crack 
rowers Clasper and Maddison, took place on the river Tyrie, from 
Newcastle Bridge to Scotswood. After an exciting race a foul 
having occurred on the previous day Maddison won by nearly 
100 yards. 

November 9. The annual election of chief magistrates for the 
boroughs in Northumberland and Durham took place, with the 
following result : Newcastle Stephen Lowrey esq., mayor (after 
two abortive elections, first of George Thomas Dunn and after- 
wards of Mr. Joseph Lamb) ; J. D. Weatherley, esq., sheriff. 
Gateshead John Potts, esq. Sunderland Sir Hedworth William- 
eon, bart. Durham Mark Story, esq. Stockton John Eeles, 
esq. Morpeth Anthony Charlton, esq. Berwick William Smith, 
esq., mayor ; G. Ker Nicholson, esq., sheriff. 

November 20. Died, in Newcastle, John Brandling, esq., aged 
74, third son of the late Charles Brandling, esq., of Gosforth, and 
for many years an alderman, both of the old and the reform 
Corporations of Newcastle. He served the office of mayor in 

November 28. Died, in Sunderland Infirmary, aged 48, Mr. 
John Wilson Ewbank, R.S.A. The deceased was born in 
Darlington, and being intended for the Roman Catholic priesthood, 
he was sent when young to Ushaw College, from which he 
absconded, and when about fourteen years old he apprenticed 
himself to Henry Coulson, decorative painter, in Newcastle, with 

F 1 


whom he rapidly showed gleams of surprising ability. Before the 
close of his apprenticeship he accompanied his master to Edinburgh, 
where he studied under Nasmyth, and his beautiful sketches, which 
were executed with extraordinary ease and rapidity, soon made his 
name famous in the northern capital. In 1823, when he painted 
" George IV. at Edinburgh Castle" and a " View of Edinburgh 
from Inchkeith," his fame was at its zenith, and so many pupils 
flocked to his rooms that some years his profits exceeded 3,000. 
But, unfortunately, as prosperity met him moral fortitude retreated, 
and he fell, day by day, into habits of dissipation, from which no 
efforts of his friends were ever able to extricate him. During the 
latter part of his life his house was literally the abode of want : a 
single chair was often the only article of furniture, and to defray 
the expense of a meal it was frequently necessary for him to throw 
off some hasty sketch, and sell it for anything obtainable at the 
moment. Any surplus, however small, went for drink, and his 
dissipated recklessness was the ultimate ruin of himself and family, 
and at length brought him to a premature grave. 

1847 (December 19). Died, in Newcastle, Mr. Thomas O. 
Blackett, surveyor, author of a " Treatise on the Spirit Level" and 
other scientific works. His death was occasioned by an accident 
on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, on the 12th instant. The 
deceased had been on a visit to some friends, at Prudhoe, and 
passing along the line at that place, a train approached unheard, 
knocked him down, and his arm falling upon the rail, the whole 
train passed over it, nearly severing it from his body. 

December 25. This being the day on which John Collingwood, 
esq., of Cornhill and Lowick estates, attained his majority, the 
happy event was celebrated by the tenantry and others dining 
together in the Collingwood Arms Inn, Mr. James Curry, Cornhill, 
in the chair, Mr. George Philips croupier. 

1848 (January 18). Died, at Hurworth, aged 100, Mr. John 

January 19. Died, at Whitworth Park, Durham, aged 72, 
Robert Eden Duncombe Shafto, esq., M.P. for the city of Durham 
from 1804 to 1806. 

February 1. A melancholy occurrence happened this morning 

off Cullercoats. As a coble, containing seven fishermen, viz., 

George Lisle and Robert Lisle, brothers ; Robert Lisle and George 

Lisle, sons of the above George Lisle; Robert Clark, James 

Stocks, and Charles Pearson, was proceeding from Cullercoats to 

the several vessels lying in the offing, the boat was struck by a 

heavy sea, and the unfortunate men were thrown overboard and 

drowned, in the sight of their relatives and friends. The most 

lamentable fate was that of Stocks. He was a bold swimmer, and 

though he was washed off the coble bottom several times always 

ot back to it. The last time he was on the coble he stripped off 

is jacket and waistcoat and prepared to swim ashore, as the coble 

I then approached to the rocks. He was so near that his brother 

routed to him, Jim, swim ashore." Stocks answered, I'm 

A.D. 1848.] 



done, I'm done," and, after combating awhile with the sea, he 
hung his head and sunk. A handsome subscription was made for 
the families of the sufferers. 

1848 (February 2), A man, named John Shirley, head game- 
keeper to the Duke of Cleveland, was shot this evening by a party 
of poachers, in an affray near Raby Castle, and afterwards beaten 
by them so dreadfully that he died within a few hours. Two 
men, named William Thompson and William Dowson, were 
convicted before Baron Alderson, at Durham, on the 8th of 
March, and Thompson was executed for the offence on the 25th. 
Dowson was transported for life. 


February 4 The foundation-stone of the new docks at 
Sunderland was laid with much ceremony by Mr. George Hudson, 
M.P. The event was celebrated with much rejoicing by the 
inhabitants, all places of business were closed, and the day was kept 
as an entire holiday. Shortly after one o'clock a procession, con- 
sisting of the mayor, magistrates, and members of the corporation, 
the directors and shareholders of the company, and others, accom- 
panied by music and banners, walked from the exchange buildings 
to the site of the docks, and the usual ceremony was then gone 
through, amidst enthusiastic cheers. In the evening a grand ball 
took place in the Athenaeum, which was attended by upwards of 
1,000 ladies and gentlemen. 

February. As a scullerboat, containing seven boiler-builders, 
was crossing the Tyne, from North to South Shields, a steamer, 
called the Alice, which was going down the river without any 
lookout, ran down the boat, and four of the men were drowned. 
Their names were Robert Hardy, Robert Gustard, George Fairless, 
and Robert Blenkinsop, the scullerman. 


1848 (February 19> This morning, at ten minutes to twelve 
o'clock, an express train, arranged by Messrs. Smith and Sons, 
newsagents, London, arrived at the Gateshead Station, with the 
financial statement of Lord John Russell and the debate in parlia- 
ment of the evening previous. The distance from the metropolis 
to Gateshead having been performed in six hours and twenty 

February 22. As a party of workmen were proceeding from 
Newcastle to one of the coffer-dams for the High Level Bridge, 
the boat, in which they were conveyed, from overcrowding, upset, 
and four of the men w|re drowned. Their names were Robert 
Potts, Shotton Clark, Michael Jones, and R. Humble. 

March 7. Died, in Blackett-street, Newcastle, in his 64th 
year, Mr. Thomas Miles Richardson, artist. Mr. Richardson began 
the world as a humble mechanic, and owed all after-success to 
inborn genius and undoubted taste. Like most beginners he had 
to struggle for a livelihood, and taught drawing for several years. 
The talent of Richardson was of a high order in the art of land- 
scape painting, for, though he occasionally painted figure pictures, 
his fame will rest on his landscapes, and reflect honour on his 
native town. Eminently skilled in lunar ariel perspective, no 
hand could reduce nature more accurately. His style was bold, 
effective, and original. The subjects in which Richardson most 
excelled were sea pieces, coast scenes, and storms. Tynemouth, 
Cullercoats, and views near the mouth of the Tyne, were among 
his happiest efforts. His first remarkable picture was " Newcastle 
from Gateshead Fell," which was bought by the Corporation of 
his native town for fifty guineas, and which won the highest 
admiration of Sir T. Lawrence, when on a visit at the Mansion 
House. His subsequent works were so exceedingly numerous as 
to render a list of them almost impracticable. His conception was 
always good, and his execution vigorous and true to nature. 

March 7. As Mr. John Sinton, miller, Newcastle, was 
proceeding home, at the high end of Arthur's-hill, near Adrianople- 
street, he was accosted by two women, who inquired if they were 
on the right road to Hexham. He told them they were, when 
three men instantly rushed upon him, throwing a handkerchief 
over his head and face, and robbed him of all the money he had 
upon him, four sovereigns and fifteen shillings of silver, together 
with a bunch of keys and a gold ring. The thieves were never 

March 24. Died, at Sunderland, aged 103, Mrs. Ann Cristle. 

March 27. An alarming fire was discovered this morning, 
about four o'clock, on the premises occupied by Messrs. Weather- 
hilt and Marshall, drapers, Market-place, Barnard Castle. Mr. 
Weatherhilt was burnt to death, but Mr. Marshall, his partner, 
escaped unhurt by getting upon the roof of an adjoining house. 
A youth, named Loadman, who threw himself from one of the 
window?, was much hurt, and died shortly after. 

March 27. Mr. James Mather was entertained at a public 

A.D. 1848.] 



dinner, at the Golden Lion Hotel, South Shields, by the ship- 
owners of the district, for his exertions in support of the navigation 
laws. About 100 gentlemen were present, the chair being filled 
by Robert Anderson, esq., and the vice-chairs by J. Clay, R. H. 
Bell, and J. R. Robinson, esqs. 

1848 (March 27). Died, in London, aged 47, Mr. John Jackson, 
an eminent wood engraver. The deceased was a native of 
Ovingham, and pupil of the celebrated Thomas Bewick, of New- 
castle. In 1832 he became connected with Mr. Knight and the 
" Penny Magazine," for which he executed many fine specimens 
of his art. In 1838 he published a laborious monument of his 
own ability " A History of Wood Engraving," the literary portion 
of which was written by another Northumbrian, Mr, W. A. 
Chatto, and the treatise is one which will always be interesting to 
the admirers of art. 


March 30. Died, at Harbottle Castle, aged 81, Thomas 
Clennell, esq. The deceased was for many years chairman of the 
Northumberland Quarter Sessions, and, during the French War, 
was Lieutenant- Colonel of the Newcastle Volunteers. He was 
many years an alderman of Newcastle and served the ofiice of 
mayor in 1802-3. 

April 5. Died, at Barrington Hall, Robert Ingram Shafto, esq. 

April 6. This day the inhabitants of North Shields held a 
general holiday, and great rejoicings took place, on the occasion of 
the opening of the New Custom House in that town. The 
boundary between the new port and that of Newcastle was fixed 
to be a supposed straight line, drawn from the east end of Jarrow 
Quay to the east end of Whitehill Point. The first business was 
transacted by Mr. Michael Spencer, who released a quantity of 
tobacco out of bond. Each hogshead was conveyed to its destina- 
tion surmounted by a flag, and drawn by a horse decorated with 


ribbons. A procession of the inhabitants, with banners and music, 
passed through the principal streets to the Northumberland Arms, 
when the " Port of Shields" was toasted amidst loud cheering, and 
the rejoicings were wound up in the evening by a display of fire- 

1848 (April 24). A Polytechnic Exhibition, on behalf of the 
funds of the Natural History and Fine Arts Societies in Newcastle, 
was opened by a splendid promenade and soiree. The arrangements 
were almost similar to those made in 1840 (seepage 128J, and the 
collection on that occasion. Mr. W. G. Armstrong's newly-invented 
hydraulic-engine was used instead of a steam-engine for putting 
the various machinery in motion, and its novelty attracted much 
attention. The New Music Hall was also appropriated to the 
exhibition, where were collected the wonders of the age the 
achievements of genius the triumphs of science the results of 
mind combined with experience. In the centre was a large fountain, 
the water from which ran into a canal, where miniature boats were 
floating; and besides which were a number of models, such as a 
diving-bell, with crane, Barker's water mill, a series of wheels, 
an overshot breast wheel and undershot, all contributed by Mr. 
G. Simpson, plumber, &c., 77, Blandford -street, Newcastle; the 
model of a pump, very ingenious, by Mr. Richard Ayre, Newcastle ; 
a distilling apparatus, by Mr. Gilpin, chemist ; a hydraulic fire- 
escape, by Mr. Robert Hall, Newgate-street, Newcastle, &c., &c. 
The exhibition closed on the 2nd of October, when there had been 
101,518 single admissions; 3,444 admissions to soirees; and 
6,930 school children, &c. ; whilst the sale of season tickets had 
reached 4,439. The exhibition, however, was not so successful, 
in a pecuniary point of view, as might have been expected, the 
profits not having exceeded 150. 

May 2. The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Newcastle, 
accompanied by Mr. William Young, the senior churchwarden of 
St. Nicholas', and Mr. W. Gibson, the treasurer to the fund, waited 
upon the Rev. R. C. Coxe, A.M., at the Vicarage, and presented 
him with the sum of 450 as a voluntary " Easter offering" from 
the inhabitants of the town, a substantial proof of the estimation 
in which the worthy vicar was held. A similar offering had been 
presented in the three previous years, arid on each occasion was 
subscribed in a few days. 

May 15. Died, in the Infirmary, Newcastle, aged 54, John 
Dennis, alias " Radical Jack." The early history of this eccentric 
individual is not known, but there is little doubt but that he 
belonged to a family of respectability, and that he had a University 
education. He was well known in the neighbourhood as a hawker 
of cheap publications, and his ready wit, stentorian voice, and 
great command of language, made him an especial favourite with 
the multitude. For many years he hardly ever appeared to be 
sober, but by the persuasion of some who belonged to the teetotal 
society he was induced to take the pledge. Whether he kept his 
vow to the last is difficult to say ; but he certainly was apparently 


true to his engagement for a long time after he had entered into 
it, and, during this period, he acquired a cleanly and decent 
appearance, which was in striking contrast with his former aspect. 

1848 (May). The following are in the list of patents obtained 
for May : William George Armstrong, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
engineer, for an improved water pressure engine, sealed llth May ; 
George Remington, of Warkworth, County of Northumberland, 
civil engineer, for improvements in locomotive engines and in 
marine and stationary engines, sealed 26th May ; Thomas Richard- 
son, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, chemist, for improvements in the 
manufacture of manures, sealed 26th May, In each six months 
for enrolment. 

June 1. Berwiek-upon-Tweed became an English port, and 
its limits were appointed to extend from St. Abb's Head to the 
south side of the river Aln. 

June 1. Died, at Darlington, aged 104, Mrs. Mary Brown-. 

June 20. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. Merry's gr h Chanticleer 
(Bumby), beating Executor, Dough, and eight others. The Gold 
Cup was won by Mr. Merry's Chanticleer walking over. 

June 21. The boiler of a steam-tug, called the Neptune, 
belonging to Shields, burst when at sea, killing the master, 
Benjamin Baxter, and severely injuring others. 

July 18. The ship Blenheim, of 1,500 tons burthen, was 
launched by Messrs. T. and W. Smith, of St. Peter's, near New- 
castle, in the presence of a vast concourse of people, including many 
of the beauty and fashion of the neighbourhood, as well as some 
distinguished foreigners. 

July 20. A splendid service of plate, manufactured by 
Messrs. Reid and Sons, was presented to Matthew Plummer, esq., 
for his long and valuable services as the chairman of the Newcastle 
and Carlisle Railway Company, by the shareholders of that under- 
taking, as a mark of their approbation of his gratuitous services. 
The presentation took place in the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, 
in the presence of a numerous company of ladies and gentlemen, 
Matthew Bell, esq., M.P., presiding. 

July 30. An alarming and destructive fire broke out this 
evening, in Ridley-court, Groat-market, Newcastle, in the bar of 
a spirit shop, kept by Mr. Carr. For some time all exertions to 
subdue the progress of the flames were ineffectual, and they soon 
consumed the entire contents of Mr. Carr's premises, and then 
broke into two shops on the ground floor, fronting the Groat 
Market, and occupied by Mr. Balls, cheesemonger, and Mr. 
Honeyman, grocer. These also were destroyed, and during a rash 
attempt to save a portion of Mr. Ball's stock the floor above gave 
way, and Elijah Galloway, foreman of the Newcastle fire-engine, 
was thrown down and burnt to death. Two others, Andrew 
Gilmore and James Scott, were seriously injured. The destruction 
of furniture and the destitution caused* to the tenants who lived 
above the spirit shop was truly deplorable, as the most of them 


eight in number lost their all. The building in which the fire 
broke out was originally erected for an assembly-room, for which 
purpose it was used till the completion of the rooms in Westgate- 
street, in 1773. In 1798 the Literary and Philosophical Society- 
took possession of it, the large room being used as a library, until 
July 1825, when the society also evacuated it for nobler premises. 
It was subsequently a school and lecture- room, in which latter 
capacity it had been used by Mr. Joseph Barker, a few hours 
before its destruction. The whole of Mr. Carr's furniture, stock, 
&c., was consumed, but he was fully insured in the Norwich 
Union. Mr. Balls and Mr. Honeyman were uninsured. 


August 2. At Durham Assizes, just after Mr. Justice 
Cresswell had sentenced an Irishman, named Coyle, to seven 
years' transportation for house-breaking, Coyle pulled off one of 
his iron-shod " brogues" and hurled it at the judge's head. The 
formidable missile, which might have put an abrupt termination 
to his lordship's judicial labours, struck him on the breast and 
inflicted no serious injury. 

August 3 A grand banquet was given in the great hall of the 
ancient Norman Keep, which originally gave the name Newcastle 
to that town. Shortly after six o'clock, his Grace the Duke of 
Northumberland arrived at the Castle, and soon after the members 
of the Antiquarian Society, to the number of nearly 100, sat down 
to a sumptuous entertainment, got up by Mr. Haigh, of the 
Assembly Rooms, in the style of two centuries ago. The decora- 
tions of the apartments were in excellent taste, ancient arms and 
armour being hung upon the walls, the banners of Robert, Duke 

>. 1848.] 



of Normandy (the founder of the Castle), Percy, Neville, Mowbray, 
Ratcliffe, Widdrington, Copeland, Clavering, Delaval, Dacre, Ogle, 
Umfreville, Bertram, Lumley, Hilton, Swinburne, Howard, Fen- 
wick, and Riddell, mingled with the arms of England, Northumbria, 
St. Cuthbert, and Newcastle, whilst gas introduced in the semblance 
of lighted torches spread a brilliant illumination over the scene. The 
Duke of Northumberland occupied the chair, supported by the 
Mayor of Newcastle (S. Lowrey, esq.), and the High Sheriff of the 
County (George Burdon, esq.), and Sir Charles Monck, bart., and 
J. H. Hinde, esq., presided over the side tables. A boar's head 


was placed in the centre of his grace's table, and the whole of the 
delicacies were remarkably appropriate and beautiful. The company 
entered the castle on the south side where they were ushered into 
the guard room, and two of his grace's pipers were in attendance, 
and played appropriate airs at intervals during the evening The 
company was addressed, after the banquet, by the noble chairman, 
the Hon. H. T. Liddell, Mr. Ord, M.P., the Mayor of Newcastle, 
the High Sheriff of Northumberland, the Vicar of Newcastle, 

G 1 


Mr. J. H, Hinde, the Hon. and Rev. F. R. Grey, Mr. A. J. B. 
Cresswell, Sir M. W. Ridley, bart., Mr. Ralph Carr, Sir Cuthbert 
Sharp, Lord James Stuart, Mr. Warren, Q.C., Mr. J. Clayton, Mr. 
Adamson, Dr, Charlton, Rev. J. C. Bruce, and others, and the 
interesting proceedings did not terminate until a late hour. On the 
following evening a promenade and lecture were given in the castle, 
for the purpose of allowing the public to examine this ancient and 
celebrated structure. Upwards of 500 persons were present, and 
Mr. Bruce's description of ancient Norman life and manners was 
listened to with great interest. 

1848 (August 6). Died, at Broomhaugh, near Hexham, aged 80, 
Mr. John Shield, formerly an extensive wholesale grocer in New- 
castle. Mr. Shield possessed poetic powers of a high order, and 
while many of his local songs have considerable excellence for their 
Lumonr and imagination, some of his graver pieces were deservedly 
admired for their elegance and sweetness. Perhaps his best comic 
production was the song of " My Lord Size," written on the acci- 
dental fall into the river Tyne of Mr. Baron Graham, and of a 
serious character his song of " Poor Tom, the Blind Boy," and the 
verses he addressed to Greathead, one of the inventors of the life- 
boat, prove Mr. Shield's versatile talent and give some idea of the 
eminence to which he might have aspired in that branch of literature. 
August 12. Died, at Tapton House, Staffordshire, aged 67, 
Mr, George Stephenson, Civil Engineer, K.L., F.G.S. a rare 
example of the rise of humble virtue, talent, and industry, to the 
most envied station in society. The deceased was born at Wylam, 
situated on the Tyne, about nine miles west of Newcastle, where 
his father was employed as an ordinary workman, in 1781 ; he was 
only six or seven years of age when he was sent down the pit as a 
" trapper," and in this Cimmerian darkness were the early years of 
George Stephenson spent. He was afterwards a " picker" at 
Wylam, at a wage of 4s. or 5s. a week. He then went to Callerton 
Pit, where he got promoted to the post of driver of a gin. Soon 
afterwards he was appointed to the situation of engineman, at a 
wage of 10s. a week. While at Callerton he set his affections upon 
a Miss Hindmarsh, the daughter of a farmer in the neighbourhood. 
Bat as George was yet only a poor working man, he was not con- 
sidered a suitable match. He was, however, resolved to be married, 
and, as the mistress would not have him, he offered himself to the 
servant, and was accepted. He married her, she proved a good 
wife, and the celebrated Robert Stephenson, civil engineer, and 
formerly M.P. for Whitby, but now deceased, was the issue of the 
union. Shortly after Robert's birth she died, and in a few years 
after George again offered himself to Miss Hindmarsh and this 
time he was accepted. The second marriage was a prosperous 
one, and the pair lived long and happily together. In 1804 he 
removed to Killingworth, having been engaged as brakesman at 
12s. a week, on which event he declared, on coming out of the 
pay-office, that he was " made a man for life." Not long after he 
succeeded in discovering and removing a defect in a new steam- 


engine, which had eluded the skill of all the engineers in the 
neighbourhood, and his success in bringing the engine into working 
order was so complete that he was in a short time entrusted with 
the entire management of the machinery belonging to the colliery. 
We may here mention an interesting circumstance in Stephenson's 
career while working as brakesman at Killingworth Pit. There 
were three brakesmen, who took the " night shift" by turns. The 
night shift lasted from eight to ten hours, and as there was little 
work to be done, the brakesman's time hung heavy on his hands, 
Stephenson, however, always regarded time as precious, and care- 
fully turned every minute to account. During these night shifts 
he took his first lessons in arithmetic. When he had worked his 
sums on a slate he sent them off next morning to a schoolmaster 
to correct, who in turn sent him new questions to answer. For 
this service the eager scholar paid his master the humble tribute of 
fourpence a week. The rest of his time he occupied in cleaning 
the pitmens' clocks and watches, mending shoes, and last-making. 
Among the other of his works was a sun dial, still fixed over tho 
door of the house he lived in at Killingworth ; and to the last day 
of his life he felt a pride at the sight of that sun dial. Not long 
before his death, while surveying the line of the Newcastle and 
Berwick Railway, he drove a professional friend somewhat out of 
his way to have an admiring look at the dial. From the oft-recurr- 
ing explosions of gas in mines, of which he had been a frequent 
witness, his attention was drawn to the subject; and at the very 
time Sir Humphrey Davy was pursuing his investigations, and 
before that philosopher had come to any determination upon it, Mr. 
Stephenson discovered, by independent experiments, that explosive 
mixtures will not pass through small apertures or tubes. His first 
safety-lamp was made by Mr. Hogg, a tinsmith in Newcastle, and 
was tried at Killingworth Colliery, 21st October, 1815, some days 
antecedent to Sir Humphrey Davy's earliest announcement of the 
lamp which bears his name. Both gentlemen, accordingly, had 
their partisans. Sir Humphrey was feasted in Newcastle, and 
honoured with a magnificent testimonial ; and Mr. Stephenson's 
friends rewarded his exertions by a gift of 1,000, which, with a 
silver tankard, were presented to him in January, 1818, at a dinner 
in the Assembly Rooms, at which C. J. Brandling, esq., presided. 
The first locomotive engine constructed by Stephenson was tried 
on the 25th of July, 1814, and although it is impossible to award 
him all the praise due to the invention of that wonderful machine, 
which has revolutionised all former ideas of commercial inter- 
course, has annihilated distance, and everywhere become the 
herald of enlightenment and civilization ; it cannot be doubted 
that his improvements in its manufacture have placed his name 
in immortal connexion with it. Years passed by and George 
Stephenson became a prosperous man. His upright and manly 
character, and his devoted attention to his profession, gained him 
many and powerful friends. He earned the confidence of all 
with whom he came in contact. He was straightforward and 


openhearted, hardworking, and a zealous self-cultivator, always 
observant, always improving, always advancing. With the 
assistance of his son he constructed the London and Birmingham, 
the Manchester and Leeds, and many other railways, not only in 
England but in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, and 
his fame, as an engineer, is as wide in its extent as it probably 
will be unlimited in its duration. Mr. Stephenson was to the last 
a man of plain arid unassuming manners, neither ashamed of his 
humble origin nor forgetful of his early associates, and a few 
months before his death, in answer to a gentleman who was 
desirous of knowing what honorary initials he was entitled to use, 
he replied that many honours had been offered him, at home and 
abroad, which he had declined to accept, and almost the only title 
which he held and certainly the one of which he was most proud 
was that of " President of the Birmingham Mechanics' Institute." 
In August, 1845, the Midland, the York and North Midland, the 
Newcastle and Darlington, and the Newcastle and Berwick Railway 
Companies severally voted the sum of 2,000, to be expended in 
the purchase of a service of plate for Mr. Stephenson, and in the 
erection of his statue on the High Level Bridge across the Tyne. 
It is little to the credit of these great companies that their resolu- 
tions were never carried out. In a speech delivered in Ne \vcastle, 
June 18, 1844, Mr, Stephenson said : " The first locomotive that 
I made was at Killingworth Colliery, and with Lord Ravens worth's 
money. That engine was made 82 years ago, and we called it 
* My Lord.' I said to my friends that there was no limit to the 
speed of such an engine, provided the works could be made to 
stand. In this respect great perfection has been reached, and, in. 
consequence, a very high velocity has been attained. In what has 
been done under my management the merit is only in part my own. 
I have been most ably seconded and assisted by my son. In the 
earlier period of my career, and when he was a little boy, I saw 
how deficient I was in education, and made up my. mind that he 
should not labour under the same defect, but that I would put him 
to a good school and give him a liberal training. Being, however, 
a poor man, how do you think I managed I I betook myself to 
mending my neighbours' clocks and watches at night, after my 
daily labour was done, and thus I procured the means of educating 
my son. He became my assistant and my companion. He got an 
appointment as under viewer, and at nights we worked together at 
our engineering. I got leave to go from Killingworth to lay down 
a railway at Hetton, and next to Darlington, and after that I went 
to Liverpool, to plan a line to Manchester. I there pledged myself 
to attain a speed of ten miles an hour. I said I had no doubt the 
locomotive might be made to go much faster, but we had better be 
moderate at the beginning. The directors said I was quite right, 
if when they went to Parliament I talked of going at a greater 
rate than ten miles an hour I would put a < cross on the concern.' 
It was not an easy task for me to keep the engine down to ten 
milea an. hour, but it had to be done, and I did my best. I had to 



place myself into that most unpleasant of all positions- the 
witness-box of a Parliamentary Committee. Some one inquired 
if I was a foreigner, and another said I was mad. But I put up 
with every rebuff, and went on with my plans, determined not to 
be put down. Assistance gradually increased improvements were 
made every day and to-day a train which started from London 
in the morning has brought me in the afternoon to my native soil, 
and enabled me to take my place in this room, and to see around 
me many happy faces, which I have great pleasure in looking on." 

1848 (August 15). An explosion took place in the West Pit, 
Murton Colliery, near South Hetton, the property of Messrs. Braddyll 
and Co., when sixteen men and boys were killed, and several others 
much hurt. Upwards of one hundred persons were in the mine 
at the time, and but for the presence of mind of one of the work- 
men, who was able to lead the others to a shaft, the whole would 
have been suffocated. 

August 29. The great and important desideratum the opening 
of a railway communication between Newcastle and Gateshead* 
by a line of rails over the temporary scaffolding at the High Level 
Bridge, was accomplished this day. About half-past one o'clock 
Mr. Hudson, M.P., and his son, accompanied by a number of other 
gentlemen, arrived from Sunderland, and were received at the 
Gateshead Station by the Right Worshipful the Mayor of New- 
castle, the Mayor of Gateshead, and a numerous body of gentlemen* 
A train, consisting of eight carriages, was drawn alongside the 
platform, where an engine, gaily decorated with flags, was waiting 
to take it across. Precisely at half-past two the train proceeded, 
amidst the firing of cannon and the cheers of the assembled multi- 
tude. As the train passed slowly and steadily over the approaches 
to the bridge the anxiety of the immense body of spectators, whose 
eyes were watching every movement, seemed to be most intense, 
and the scene was truly exciting, yet it was not viewed without 
some degree of fear, not only from the lofty position of the train 
and its occupants but from the apparent narrowness and nakedness 
of the platform on which it rolled along. It appeared, from the 
absence of the usual noise, rather like an aerial flight than the 
rattling and resistless sweep of the iron horse. Onward it came, 
steadily and calmly, like a giant in his strength, safely traversing 
the temporary bridge, and on reaching the north side was received 
with a burst of cheers from the immense assemblage and a salute 
from the castle guns. After changing the engine the train was 
conveyed across the magnificent arch which spans the foot of Dean- 
street to the Manors Station, where it was again welcomed by the 
firing of cannon and renewed cheers. The company having 
alighted the Right Worshipful the Mayor, accompanied by Mr* 
Hudson and other gentlemen, proceeded to the Queen's Head Inn, 
where they sat down to a splendid collation, the mayor presiding, 
Captain Weatherley in the vice-chair. After the repast the 
healths of Mr. Hudson and his staff, the Mayor and Corporation 
of Newcastle, Messrs. Hawks and Crawshaw, Mr. Robert 


Stephenson, Mrs. Hudson, &c., &c., were drank with enthusiasm, 
and the company separated, highly gratified with the proceedings 
of the day, 

1848 (August 31). An awful instance of sudden death occurred 
at the Queen's Head Inn, Newcastle, this evening. Major John 
Phillpotts, son of the Bishop of Exeter, arrived by the train from 
Carlisle, having been paying a visit to the Rev. Mr. Anderson, 
of Keswick. The gallant gentleman, shortly after his arrival, 
proceeded to his room to dress, when it was supposed that a 
blood-vessel had suddenly burst, he rushed to the door, when he 
fell. Surgical aid was immediately called in, but he was found 
to be dead. 

September 17. St. John's Church, Newcastle, after under- 
going considerable alterations, was re-opened for divine service. 
Sermons were preached, in the morning by the Rev. Leonard 
Shaftoe Orde, M.A., incumbent of Lucker ; and in the afternoon 
by the Rev. Richard Clayton, when collections were made, amounting 
to 40. In taking down the chancel the piscina of the church 
and several inscribed stones were found by the workmen, and were 
presented to the Society of Antiquaries. 

September 20. Jenny Lind, "the Swedish Nightingale," appeared 
in the Theatre Royal, Newcastle, in the opera of " La Som- 
nambula," and, notwithstanding the high price of admission, the 
theatre was crowded in every part : the boxes as well as the pit 
being filled by one of the most numerous and splendid assemblages 
of the haul ton of the district that had ever been witnessed. The 
prices of admission were dress boxes, 1 11s. Gd. ; upper boxes 
and pit, 1 Is. ; and gallery. 10s. Qd. The receipts were upwards 
of 1,100. 

September 24. Died, near Durham, very suddenly, aged 59, 
Major James Wemyss, chief constable of the Durham Rural Police. 
November 7, Major G-. F. White was appointed chief constable. 

October 18. The shareholders of the Whittle Dean Water 
Company, Newcastle, and other friends, dined together this evening 
at the Queen's Head Inn, to celebrate the completion of the works. 
Mr. Alderman Potter presided, and the Mayor of Newcastle and 
several other gentlemen, who had, during the day, inspected the 
reservoirs at Whittle Dean (44 acres in extent), expressed their 
satisfaction and delight at what they had witnessed, 

October 29. A serious and fatal accident occurred this 
evening on the York and Newcastle Railway, between Brockley 
Whins and Washington Station, by the collision of the mail train 
from London with a special train of workmen, who had been 
repairing the line, and who had carelessly allowed their engine to 
run out of water. Three of the workmen were killed on the spot, 
and several persons in both the trains were severely injured. The 
names of the unfortunate sufferers were John Ross, Joseph 
Hutchinson, and Robert Raffles. 

November 9. The following gentlemen were elected mayors 
and sheriffs of the boroughs of Northumberland and Durham : 


Newcastle Captain James Dent Weatherley, esq., mayor ; 
Nathaniel Grace Lambert, esq., sheriff. Gateshead George 
Hawks, esq. Sunderland Joseph Simpson, esq. Durham 
William Henderson, esq. Stockton John Eeles, esq. Morpeth 
William Trotter, esq. Berwick H. G. G. Clarke, esq., M.D., 
mayor ; Patrick Clay, esq., sheriff, 

1848 (November), During this month an extraordinary sample of 
natives from the interior of Africa were exhibiting in the Victoria 
Rooms, Newcastle. The group consisted of two men, two women, 
and a child, belonging to a tribe called Bosjesmans. Their 
diminutive forms and strange language excited much astonishment, 
and certainly they presented as strange a group of beings, having 
affinity to the human race, as ever was seen. 

November 20. In the course of deepening the river Tyne, 
Mr. Holt, the diver, under the directions of Mr. Brooks, the river 
engineer, was making his observations, when he discovered part of 
a huge trunk of an oak tree, lying embedded in the Cockraw Sands, 
near Wallsend. It was soon extricated and conveyed to the New 
Quay. It was found to measure 17 feet in circumference at one 
part, and about 35 feet in length. The greater part of it was quite 
sound, and a portion was applied for by the architect of the Coal 
Exchange, London, and used by him in forming the beautifully- 
tessellated floor of that building. 

December 4. The estate of Collingwood House, in the parishes 
of Whittingham and Alnham, Northumberland, was sold by 
auction, in London, to the Hon. H. T. Liddell (now Lord 
Ravensworth), for 60,000. The estate comprised 1,965 acres, 
and the yearly rent amounted to 2,045. 

December 19. A most singular accident occurred at Trimdon 
Colliery. A little boy, nephew of a pitman, named Dinning, had 
been sent for some milk, and on carrying it home he fell and 
spilled it ; on informing his uncle of the accident, the latter threw 
a bag of gunpowder at the boy's head, and, the bag bursting by 
the violence of the blow, a portion of the contents went into the 
fire and the whole exploded. The house was almost completely 
destroyed. The boy, as well as another child, was killed, and the 
other inmates were sadly burnt. 

December 20,- Died, at Bournemouth, Hants, aged 56, Thomas 
Wentworth Beaumont, esq., of Bywell Hall, Northumberland, 
and Bretton Park, Yorkshire. Mr. Beaumont, from the extent 
of his landed property, and the value of his mineral possessions, 
was one of the richest commoners in England. He represented 
the county of Northumberland for several years, and was engaged 
in more than one electioneering contest. Mr. Beaumont was a 
tory, and a member of the Pitt Club in early life, but from 1820 
he was generally considered an " Advanced Liberal," and his 
munificent generosity of disposition, and frankness of manner, 
secured him the attachment of a very numerous body of friends. 
He was one of the chief originators of the "Westminster Review," 
to which it was understood he contributed a number of papers. 


Mr. Beaumont was succeeded by his eldest son Mr. Wentworth 
Blackett Beaumont, who was, at his father's death, approaching 
his majority. 


1848 (December 30). Died, at Brussels, aged 74, "Robert William 
Brandling, esq., of Low Gosforth, Northumberland. In 1835 the 
deceased brought before the public the project of a railway to 
connect Newcastle with South Shields and Sunderland. The line, 
which was known as the Brandling Junction Railway until its 
amalgamation with the Newcastle and Darlington Company, 
proved one of the most important in the district. Mr. Brandling 
was for many years an active county magistrate, and was well 
Tsnown and respected by all classes with whom he came in contact. 
January 16th, 1849, his remains arrived at Newcastle, and were 
interred on the same day at Gosforth. 

December 30. Died, at Newcastle, aged 51, James Eeid, esq., 
son of Christian Ker Reid, goldsmith. The deceased commenced 
at an early period of life as a merchant, in which profession he 
displayed great ability and enterprize He was the first to give 
an impulse to the trade between Newcastle and Hamburgh, and, 
as early as 1823-4, established a regular communication between 
the two ports. He took an active part, and was mainly instru- 
mental, in procuring a repeal of the duty on sea borne coal, thus 
opening out a market for the immense quantity of small coal lying 
as useless at every colliery. Having introduced the coals of the 
Pelton Colliery to the London Chartered Gas Company, to which 
Mr. Reid was agent, the directors so highly approved of the quality of 
the coal that, in order to secure a continuous supply, Mr. Reid was 


encouraged to purchase the interests of the lessees. After a pro- 
tracted negotiation, in which much tact and ability were required, 
the whole was arranged by Mr. Reid, the sum paid being 80,000. 
Mr. Reid was appointed consul for Belgium, for the port of 
Newcastle, on the 20th of August, 1832, after the separation of 
Belgiani from Holland, the duties of which he continued to 
pe^jprm till his death. The urbanity and kindness of manner and 
generosity of disposition, approaching to a fault, procured for Mr. 
Reid the respect and goodwill of a large circle of friends amongst 
all classes of society. 

1849 (January 3J. Died, in Newcastle, aged 68, James Archbold, 
esq., an alderman and magistrate of that town. Mr. Archbold 
served the office of mayor in 184G-7. He left a large fortune, and, 
amongst other legacies to charitable objects, he devised 4,500 to 
found an hospital for twelve poor widows, but the statute of mort- 
main rendered that portion of his will a nullity. A very elegant 
mural monument to the memory of Mr. Archbold has been erected 
in St. Nicholas' Church, Newcastle. 

January 19. About half-past four o'clock this morning a most 
destructive fire broke out in Mr. Henry Angus's coach manu- 
factory, Bigg-market, Newcastle, the whole of which, in the space 
of two hours, was entirely destroyed, together with some houses 
and shops and small work sheds adjacent. The manufactory had 
been substantially built after the still more extensive fire which 
occurred on the same site on the 29th January, 1830, and the 
damage amounted to several thousand pounds. An attempt was 
made by the Corporation to take advantage of this opportunity for 
continuing Grainger street to the Central Railway Station. 
Although the design was at that time abandoned, it is now being 
carried out. 


January 20. Died, at Inspruck, aged 84, General Baron Swin- 
burne, Chamberlain of the Emperor of Austria, K.M.T., &c, 

H 1 


The deceased was the last surviving brother of Sir John E, 
Swinburne, bart., of Capheaton. 

1849 (January 21> A shocking murder was committed at 
Toundle Myers, near West Auckland. A gamekeeper, under the 
Duke of Cleveland, named May, was found shot in the back 
part of the head. May had given evidence against Thompson and 
Dowson, at the previous Durham Assizes, for the murder of the 
watcher, named Shirley, in February, 1848, and it was supposed 
that he had been murdered by some of their friends. Shortly 
afterwards, three men, named Neasham, Simpson, and Peverley, 
were apprehended, when they mutually criminated each other, 
and, on the 28th July, Neasham was tried for the murder, at 
Durham, before Mr. Justice Pattison, the others giving evidence 
against him. He was, however, acquitted. 

February 18. A splendid vessel which was about being launched 
from the building yard of Mr. H. Carr, Hylton Ferry, Sunderland, 
was entirely destroyed by fire. The workshops in the yard were 
also consumed, as well as some timber in the adjoining premises, 
and the total damage was upwards of 2,000. 

February 20. At a meeting of the York, Newcastle, and 
Berwick Railway Company, at York, Mr. Prance, of the Stock 
Exchange, brought before the shareholders a question as to the 
sale of certain shares made by the chairman, Mr. Hudson, to the 
company, and moved for a committee to investigate the matter. 
Mr. Hudson avowed the transaction expressing his readiness to 
submit his conduct to the fullest inquiry. A report was soon 
afterwards presented to the shareholders, condemning the conduct 
of Mr. Hudson, and at a meeting held at York on the 14th of May, 
another committee, consisting of Mr. McLaren, of Edinburgh ; Mr. 
Leechman, of Glasgow ; Mr. Kipling, of Darlington ; Mr. John 
Shield 'and Mr. Philipson, of Newcastle j Mr. Love, of London ; 
and Mr. Meek, of York, was appointed to investigate the whole 
affairs of the company. At this meeting a letter was read from 
Mr. Hudson resigning the chairmanship. The first report of the 
committee was not of an important nature, but the second excited 
an extraordinary sensation. The committee stated that Mr. 
Hudson, although entitled to only 936 shares in the Newcastle 
and Berwick Company, had secretly taken and afterwards sold 
for his own benefit 10,984, the committee estimating the profit of 
this " flagrant abuse of the confidence reposed in him," at 
145,000. With respect to the Brandling Junction Shares it 
appeared that his fellow directors had made Mr. Hudson a present 
of 2,000 shares, at a time when they were at a premium of 21 
each, being equivalent to a bonus of 42,000. It was further 
stated that in January, 1845, Mr. Hudson purchased 10,000 tons 
of iron, on his own account, at 6 10s. per ton, and sold 7,000 
tons of his purchase to the company, within a few days, at 12 
per ton, realizing a profit of 38,500. As to the payments for 
land it was shewn that Mr, Hudson took cheques, in 1845, for 
37,350, of which sum he retained 26,000 until the committee 

A.I>. 1849.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 243 

was appointed when he restored it to the company. In like 
manner the construction account was overcharged to the extent 
of 40,000 which Mr. Hudson also repaid with interest. On the 
Great North of England purchase account Mr. Hudson was a 
debtor to the company for 26,854 which he likewise returned. 
It was also discovered that, in order to keep up large dividends, 
and " to make things pleasant," the accounts of the company had 
been systematically falsified from the first existence of the railway 
to the extent of 121,925, partly by absorption of capital into the 
traffic account, and partly by overstating the actual traffic. 
Lastly, the committee proved that 41,047 of the company's funds 
had been applied, without its consent, in the purchase of Sunder- 
land Dock Shares, which was also repaid. An agreement was 
finally made between Mr. Hudson and the company, on the 8th 
January, 1850, by which, on an additional payment of 50,000, 
the company relinquished all further claim upon him. 

1849 (February 20). Died, at Minsteracres, aged 75, George 
Silvertop, esq. The deceased, like most Roman Catholic gentle- 
men of the last century, was educated at Dowey, but returned to 
this country at the outbreak of the French Revolution. He 
succeeded to his paternal estates in 1814. In the same year he 
visited Napoleon, then at Elba, and printed an account of his 
interview with the Emperor which was received with great 
approbation. He was subsequently selected by Lord Liverpool 
as the medium of private communication between Great Britain 
and the Holy See, in which capacity he acquitted himself with 
much address. Mr. Silvertop was appointed High Sheriff of 
Northumberland, in 1830, and was the first Roman Catholic who 
had filled that office since the reign of James II. He was the 
first to notice and to foster the genius of the celebrated sculptor 
Lough, who was born near Minsteracres, and his purse was ever 
open to merit struggling with difficulty or misfortune. 

March 26. This morning whilst the fishing boats belonging to 
the village of Cullercoats were at sea they discovered something 
floating of uncommon length and of silvery and dazzling bright- 
ness. It proved to be a fish of the Gymmetrus genus of which 
there are few of the species known. It was 12 feet 5 inches long, 
13 inches in depth, and 3 inches thick, with a crest about 14 
inches in height. The fish was exhibited at Tyriemouth, North 
and South Shields, and Newcastle, and was afterwards shown in 
London, where it attracted much attention. It is now in the 
Museum of the Natural History Society, Newcastle. 

April 3. A " gentleman" and " lady" drove up in a gig to the 
door of the Fulwell Inn, near Sunderland. The gentleman intro- 
duced himself as the " Laird o' Banff," and possessed of estates in 
the North of Scotland, yielding rental to the amount of 7,000 
per annum. He displayed a large bundle of notes and invited the 
landlord to dine with him and to send for all the respectable 
farmers and tradesmen around for the same purpose, whilst the 
workmen and others in the kitchen were regaled with brandy. 


The laird and lady remained enjoying themselves for two days, 
when the gentleman and his host rode out together to Cleadon, 
where the latter, according to the custom of landlords from home, 
treated his friend. Some people in the house, however, began to 
think they had seen the laird before, and, finding he was observed, 
he hastily mounted his horse and galloped back to Fullwell, 
followed by the landlord. Whilst the party were at supper the 
constable of Cleadon entered and arrested the laird, in the Queen's 
name, on a charge of having fraudently taken away a horse and 
gig from a stable keeper at Newcastle. The bundle of notes 
proved to be those of the " Bank of Elegance," and their pos- 
sessor, whose name was Davison, the son of a batcher in South 
Shields, was proved to be a deserter from the 63rd Regiment. 
He was accordingly removed to Newcastle Gaol. The " lady" 
was a servant of good reputation whom he had induced, by false 
representations, to leave a respectable situation. 

1849 (April 7). A serious accident occurred in the river Tyne, 
near Walker, by which two men, named Moore and Wear, and a 
boy, named Robert Watson, were drowned. It appeared that the 
unfortunate sufferers were employed at Mr. Potter's coke and 
brick works, at Willington, and had proceeded in a boat to 
Walker where they took in a quantity of iron. On their return 
they got into the wake of a steamer, the swell from which was so 
great that, in tacking, the sail " jibed," and in their efforts to 
right the boat it swamped and went down. 

April 14. A melancholy accident occurred at Shields by which 
five men were drowned. It appeared that the men were daily in 
the custom of passing and repassing from a vessel, called the 
Havering, to the shore in a boat to their meals, &c., in gangs of 
from fourteen to sixteen, when, by some mismanagement, the boat 
was upset, immersing the entire party in the river. The most 
active and praiseworthy efforts were made to save the men, but, 
it is to be regretted that five of them sank to rise no more. Their 
names were John Wade, John Kent, John Juggings, William 
Keldey, and John Anderson. 

April 16. A fire broke out this morning in the library of John 
Adamson, esq , Westgate-street, Newcastle. The fire had arisen 
from the igniting of a beam in the chimney, and nearly 2,000 
valuable books, prints, and MSS., were destroyed before the flames 
could be got under. Prior to this disaster Mr. Adamson possessed 
the finest collection of Portuguese literature in the kingdom. 

Ma if 1. A man, named William Hornsby, died at Halt- 
whistle under suspicious circumstances, and the conduct of his 
wife having been noticed as somewhat singular, an examination of 
the body took place when it became apparent that he had died 
from the effects of arsenic. The woman was tried for murder at 
the next assizes, before Mr. Justice Wightman, but she was 

May 27. A fire of a most terrific nature occurred at Shawdon 
Hall, near Alnwick, the seat of William Pawson, esq. The 

A.D. 1849.] 



hall itself was preserved, but all the out-buildings were entirely 
destroyed. The damage was estimated at upwards of 3,000. 
The intensity of the heat may be calculated by the fact that the 
lead poured down from the roof like water, and the bell of the 
turret clock, which had been brought from the monastery at 
Alnmouth, in the reign of Henry VIII., was melted in the con- 

1849 (June 5> About seven o'clock this morning one of those 
sudden and disastrous explosions which, although of too frequent 
occurrence in this district, seem, nevertheless, contingent on the 
hazardous occupation of the coal miner, took place at Hebburn 
Colliery, about six miles from Newcastle. About 100 men were 
at work at the time of the accident, but the effects of the explosion 
were confined to the north-western portion of the mine, where 
thirty-four men and boys were employed, all of whom, with but 
one exception, were killed. The explosion had been tremendous, 
and the bodies were mutilated in a manner never witnessed before, 
but this, it was believed, arose from the ignition of a quantity of 
gunpowder, which had been placed near the spot by one of the 
workmen on the previous day. 


June 7. The Mayor of Gateshead, Mr. Hawks, one of the 
firm of Messrs. Hawks, Crawshay, and Co., the contractors for 


the iron work of the High Level Bridge across the Tyne, at 
Newcastle, drove the last key of that splendid and stupendous 
structure into its place, thereby closing the arches, in the presence 
of a numerous party. Mr. Hosking, superintendent of Messrs. 
Hawks and Crawshay's works, examined what the Mayor had 
done, and announced that the key was well driven and an excellent 
fit. His worship and a number of friends dined together at Miss 
Murray's, Half Moon Inn, to commemorate the occasion, and the 
men working on the bridge were plentifully regaled with strong 
ale. August 15th, the bridge was opened without any ceremony, 
but was not brought into ordinary use until the 4th February, 
1850. The structure consists of six arches, each having a span of 
125 feet, with two curved approaches 66 feet in length, the whole 
being formed of cast iron pillars and arches, from designs by 
Robert Stephenson. The contract for the metal work was taken 
by Messrs. Hawks, Crawshay, and Co., for 112,000, and they 
were assisted in completing it by Messrs. Losh, Wilson, and Bell, 
who executed the approaches, and by Messrs. Abbot and Co., who 
east the arches. The total weight of iron employed was 5,050 
tons. The length of the viaduct is 1,337 feet, length of waterway 
512 feet, height from high water mark to the line of railway 112 
feet, and to the carriage-way 85 feet. The erection of the bridge 
and viaducts required the removal of 655 families in Newcastle 
and 130 in Gateshead, which necessarily added much to the 
expense of the undertaking, which was as follows : Cost of 
bridge, 243,000; approaches, 113,153; land and compensa- 
tion, 135,000; total, 491,153. 

1849 (June 20). Died, at Fowberry Tower, aged 75, Matthew 
Culley, esq., the last of the celebrated Northumbrian agriculturists 
of that name, A few weeks before his death Mr. Culley purchased 
Horton estate from Earl Grey for 46,000. He was succeeded 
in his large property by his nephew, George Darling, esq., of 
Hetton House. 

June 25. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The Nor- 
thumberland Plate was won by Mr. B. Eddison's b c John Cosser 
(Charlton), beating Malton, Snowstorm, and nine others. The 
Gold Cup was won by Mr. Merry's gr h Chanticleer (Marlowe). In 
order to avoid a walk over Mr. S. Ogle's ch f Camphine ran behind. 
Any odds upon Chanticleer. The above prize, which was in the 
form of an elegant candelabrum, was displayed, as usual, in front 
of the Grand Stand. It was of massive construction, of bright 
and frosted silver, and 31 inches in height. The base forms 
a tripod, on which are three couchant horses, supporting the 
same number of shields. The stem was of rich acanthus leaves, 
from which sprung six branches for lights, surmounted by a 
chaste and beautiful figure of Victory, holding a garland of 
laurels. It was manufactured by Messrs. Reid and Sons, Grey- 
street, Newcastle. 

June 29. Died, at Kenton, aged 104, Mr. Selby Robson. 
The deceased was the father of eighteen children, sixty-nine 


grand- children, fifty-eight great grand-children, and two great 
great grand -children, making a total of 147 descendants. 

1849 (July). Whilst workmen were engaged in sinking Seaton 
and Seaham Colliery they found a live toad embedded in the solid 
limestone rock, 183 feet from the surface. The reptile, which 
was of a very curious shape, died soon after it was extricated, and 
was afterwards exhibited at Seaham, by Mr. Thomas Chilton, 

July 2. Cholera broke out with most fatal virulence at North 
Shields, and from this date to November 13th there were 315 
deaths in Tynemouth Union from that disease alone. 

July 10. At the Thames Regatta the grand champion prize for 
four-oared boats was won by the St. Agnes, of Newcastle, the 
crew of which consisted of R. and H. Clasper, of Newcastle, and 
R. and T. Coombes, of London. 

July 28. Whilst a carpenter, named John Smith, of New- 
castle, was at work on the High Level Bridge, he stepped upon a 
loose plank, which immediately canted over, and he was thrown 
headlong over the bridge. In his descent, however, the leg of his 
fustian trousers caught a large nail, which had been driven into 
the timber just upon the level of the lower roadway, 90 feet above 
the river, and what is very remarkable, he hung suspended until 
some of the workmen rescued him from his perilous situation. 

August 6. Sir Robert Peel, bart., accompanied by his family, 
arrived in Newcastle, on his way to the Highlands, and stayed 
for the night at the Queen's Head Inn. In the course of the 
evening the right honourable baronet took a walk through the 
town, taking particular notice of Mr. Grainger's erections, the 
High Level Bridge, &c. He was loudly cheered by a large crowd 
at the railway station on his departure. 

August 8. This afternoon an awful storm of thunder and 
lightning broke over Newcastle and the neighbourhood. About 
two o'clock the sound of thunder and large drops of rain indicated 
the approach of a tempest. In a short time flash after flash of 
the intensest brightness lighted up the otherwise murky expanse, 
and peal after peal shook many dwellings to their foundations. 
Now the electric fluid, zigzag and pointed, issued forth from the 
overhanging darkness like the swift weapon of some minister of 
vengeance, commissioned to destroy. At Long Benton, Miss Hall, 
of the Ship Inn, was killed instantaneously by a flash of lightning, 
and the house and furniture were nearly destroyed. A female, 
named Scott, in the Dog-bank, Newcastle, was struck by the 
electric fluid, the ring on her finger was melted, and she and her 
child were severely scorched. At Cramlington nine young men 
had taken refuge in the engine shed at Shank House Colliery, 
when the lightning struck the building, and killed a man named 
Robert Liddell. Five men were also struck and much burnt near 
the same place, A man named John Stephenson was killed at 
Byer's Green. Amongst the property seriously damaged by the 
storm, in Newcastle, were Mr. Hardcastle's floor-cloth manufac- 


tory, where four men were seriously injured ; the house of Mr. E. 
Mather, Lovaine-place ; Mr. Henderson's Leazes-crescent ; one of 
the domes of the Central Exchange, and a house in Rewcastle- 
chare. So tremendous was the storm that Newgate -street, near 
St. Andrew's Church, was impassable for several hours, and 
sixty cart loads of mud were afterwards taken away from 
Gallowgate alone. The Stock-bridge was also in a similar 
state, and in Gateshead, where the fair was being held, several 
of the stalls and a quantity of shoes, &c., were washed into 
the Tyne. 

1849 (August 17). Died, in Newcastle, aged 68, Sir Cuthbert 
Sharp. F.S.A., and collector of customs at that port. This distin- 
guished local antiquary was the son of Mr. Cuthbert Sharp, ship- 
owner, and Susannah Crosby, sister of Brass Crosby, Lord Mayor 
of London in 1771. He was born at Sunderland, and received his 
early education at the school of Dr. Burney, Greenwich. The 
deceased, at an early age, accepted a commission in a regiment of 
fencible cavalry, and he served in Ireland, during the rebellion, 
until these cavalry forces were disbanded. Mr. Sharp then retired 
from military life, and during the peace of Amiens he paid a visit 
to Paris, but after the disruption he was taken prisoner, with other 
Englishmen, and detained in France for some years. At last, 
through the influence of the Grand Juge Regnier, he obtained 
permission to visit Holland, and from thence be returned to 
England. He then settled at Hartlepool, devoting himself in 
retirement to literary pursuits, in intimacy with the late John 
Ingram and Robert Surtees, of Mainsforth, whose kindred tastes 
encouraged him in the study of the local antiquities and history of 
the north. Having been elected a burgess of Hartlepool, his turn 
to serve the office of mayor arrived in the year 1816, during which 
he received the honour of knighthood, on presenting an address to 
His Royal Highness the Prince Regent. During the same year 
he published his " History of Hartlepool," a very elaborate and 
interesting work, which established his reputation as an English 
antiquary. In 1823 he was appointed collector of customs at 
Sunderland, and in 1845 he was promoted to the same office at 
Newcastle, which appointment he held until the time of his death. 
His other publications were " Memorials of the Rebellion of 
1569," a "Memoir of Brass Crosby," " Chronicon Mirabile," 
" The Bishopric Garland," and several other works. He held the 
office of D.P.G.M. of Freemasons of the province of Durham for 
the last seventeen years of his life, and was greatly regretted by 
the members of that body. 

August 19. A violent outbreak of cholera took place at 
Barnard Castle. During the last five months of the year 146 
deaths occurred in that town from this direful disease. 

August 22. Mr. Robert Heughan, a respectable draper in 
North Shields, threw himself from the cliffs, near Cullercoats, and 
was killed on the spot. He had been for some time in a low state 
of mind. 


1849 (August SI). Died, at his marine residence, Marsden 
Bock, aged 51, Mr. Peter Allan. This singular individual was a 
native of Tranent, in Scotland, but came, early in life, to the 
neighbourhood of Sunderland, and in 1828 he took up his abode 
amongst the fantastic caves and rocks with which the coast of 
Whitburn is studded. By dint of great exertion he succeeded in 
excavating five or six apartments out of the limestone rock, in 
which he established himself as an innkeeper, and from the peculiar 
beauty of the scenery it became a favourite resort of pic-nic parties 
from the surrounding neighbourhood. In this place Mr. Allan, 
brought up a large family with great respectability, and it was not 
until 1848 that the lord of the manor (Mr. Ellison) made any 
claim for rent. The matter was compromised by Allan obtaining 
a lease of the property, which has been greatly improved by 
additional rooms built against the face of the rock. The place is 
still inhabited by the family. 

September 3. Jonas Worthington, Emanuel Fulwood, Thomas 
Miller, and Solomon Bankes, four workmen, belonging to Bishop- 
wearmouth, went out to sea this afternoon, on a pleasure excursion. 
Next morning their boat was picked up bottom upwards. Emanuel 
Fulvvood's body was the only one found. 


September 28. This day the Queen, Prince Albert, and the 
royal children visited Newcastle on their return from their annual 
visit to Scotland. Unfortunately the weather did not, on this 
occasion, second the wishes of the countless thousands who 
assembled to greet their sovereign. But this by no means damped 

i 1 


the loyal enthusiasm of the inhabitants of, and visitors to, the 
town. Numerous parties, many of them from considerable dis- 
tances, had arrived the preceding day, and the influx of visitors 
was so great that some had great difficulty in procuring accom- 
modation. Triumphal arches were erected across the railway at 
various parts of the line, and, notwithstanding -' the pelting of the 
pitiless storm," great crowds assembled at every place likely to 
afford a sight of the illustrious travellers. At Heaton there was* 
a profuse display of flags and ornamental devices in flowers. 
The tunnel under New Bridge-street and the arch of the Argyle- 
street bridge were richly decorated with laurel, flowers, &c., 
arranged with great taste, and on the latter was a conspicuous 
inscription " Welcome to Newcastle and Gateshead." From 
thence to the Manors Railway Station a vast number of banners 
floated in all directions, and flags were also displayed from the 
spire of All Saints', the Castle, Guildhall, Mansion House, &c., 
&c., besides a number on the High Level Bridge. Dense masses 
of spectators were upon every eminence commanding a view of 
the railway, and the most enthusiastic loyalty was manifested by 
all classes. Shortly after twelve o'clock the Castle guns announced 
the arrival of the royal train within the boundaries of the town, 
and immediately all eyes were fixed upon the first portion of line 
visible to the several spectators. The pilot-engine then arrived 
and the expectations of thousands were raised to their utmost 
pitch. Soon afterwards the train with its royal occupants was 
discerned on the viaduct leading through the town and the hum of 
voices at hand and distant cheering marked the onward progress 
of the carriages. As the train advanced the enthusiasm of those 
who obtained a view of her m;ijesty was intense, and was 
frequently acknowledged by the royal party. On reaching the 
north-west extremity of the line an engine was attached to the 
train, richly ornamented with banners and evergreens, and they 
were drawn towards the centre of the High Level Bridge, where 
a spacious platform had been erected for the accommodation of 
the Mayor, Recorder, and Corporation of Newcastle ; the Mayor 
and Corporation of Gateshead ; the Mayor and Corporation of 
Durham ; a detachment of the 63rd Regiment j and a large party 
of ladies and gentlemen. A beautiful triumphal arch spanned the 
lofty bridge, bearing the motto " Welcome on both sides of the 
Tyne," which, with the countless flags on the ships and on each 
side of the river, had a very fine effect. On arriving in front of 
the platform her majesty was welcomed with loud and repeated 
cheering, which the Queen, as well as Prince Albert, graciously 
acknowledged. Indeed, the condescending and animated manner 
of her majesty delighted all, while her light and beaming counten- 
ance, in some measure, reflected the pleasure she experienced at 
the warm and joyous reception given to her. Every heart seemed 
to be animated with the kindliest sensations, and many a spon- 
taneous expression was uttered for the health and prosperity and 
happy reign of Queen Victoria, her Royal Consort, and her 


beautiful group of children. Sir George Grey having presented 
the Mayor of Newcastle (Captain Weatherley), his worship 
presented a dutiful address from the ancient town of which he 
was the representative. The Mayor of Gateshead (Mr. Hawks) 
then offered an address from that town, both documents being 
received with marked courtesy. After the royal party had 
remained about fifteen minutes on the bridge, surveying the rather 
novel appearance which the town presents from that lofty edifice, 
the train gradually moved off, amidst deafening cheers from the 
assembled crowds and another royal salute from the castle. In 
the evening many of the tradesmen in Newcastle illuminated the 
front of their premises in honour of the royal visit, and a grand 
dinner took place in Gateshead, the Mayor presiding. This was 
the first visit of a Queen of England to Newcastle since 1461, 
when Margaret of Anjou fled to it after the Battle of Towton. 
About one o'clock the Queen reached Darlington, having been 
received throughout the county of Durham with unmingled 
expressions of attachment and respect. The station was hung 
with banners and decorated with evergreens and flowers, and the 
royal party were hailed with rapturous acclamations by the 
multitude assembled. The Chief Bailiff of Darlington (Mr. F. 
Mewburn) was introduced to the Queen and delivered an address 
from the inhabitants, and, after several gentlemen had had the 
honour of being presented, the train again proceeded southwards, 
the royal party sleeping at Derby in the evening, and reaching 
Osborne House, Isle of Wight, at half-past four o'clock in the 
afternoon of the 29th. 

1849 (September 28). This morning, John Thompson, Robert 
Thompson, Matthew Mitcalf, John Mitcalf, Robert Young, and 
Edward Cooper, six pilots belonging to Monkwearmouth, put off 
to sea in a coble from the beach at Whitburn Bay. They had 
not been many minutes at sea when the boat swamped and John 
Thompson, Robert Thompson, and Mattkew Mitcalf were unfortu- 
nately drowned. 

September. During this month the cholera attained its greatest 
virulence in the district, and its ravages excited intense alarm. 
Nearly one-third of the population of the villages of Larnesley, 
Wreckington, and Ayton Banks, near Gateshead, were affected 
with the disease, and more than one-half of the cases terminated 
fatally. At North Shields 137 were reported in a single week, 
and the total mortality in the Tynernouth and South Shields 
Unions was no less than 1,174 ; in Sunderland the deaths 
amounted to 435 ; Newcastle, 414 ; Gateshead, 292 ; Durham, 
232 ; Barnard Castle, 146 ; Alnwick, 142 ; Berwick, 49 ; and 
Hartlepool, 161. The total number of deaths from cholera^ 
during the year in the two counties were : Durham, 2,022 ; 
Northumberland, 1,680. 

October 9. A very handsome service of plate was presented to 
John Grey, esq., of Dilston, by the members of the Tyneside' 
Agricultural Society. The testimonial consisted of a superb and 



[A.D. 1849. 

highly finished six armed acanthas centre piece, suitable either aa 
a candlebra or an epergne. On its base, which formed a rich 
scroll tripod, were the arms of Mr. Grey, and also the following 
inscription : To John Grey, esq. Presented by the members of 
the Tyneside Agricultural Society, of which he was the founder, 
and by his numerous other friends, as an expression of the high 
estimation they entertain of his character and talents, and of his 
invaluable services rendered to the interests of agriculture. In 
addition to the above there were four silver double corner dishes 
of elegant design and very chaste in workmanship, The gift was 
valued at upwards of 300, and contained nearly 500 ounces of 
silver, and was manufactured at Messrs. Reid and Sons, of New- 
castle, and certainly was an additional evidence of their superior 
skill in their profession. The presentation took place at Hexham, 
at the White Hart Inn. The Rev. C. Bird presided on the 
occasion, and Mr. Ogle, M.P., Mr. G. Darling, Mr. H. Morton, 
and other gentlemen addressed the meeting, bearing witness to the 
distinguished merits of Mr. Grey, as an agriculturist, and his 
disinterested industry and peculiar ability in inculcating an im- 
proved system of husbandry in the district. Mr. Grey returned 
thanks for the present in very eloquent terms. 


1849 (October 20;. -A man named George Hunter, a pitman at 
Cowpen, was murdered under the following circumstances. He 
was proceeding from Cowpen to Blyth Square, where he resided, 
when he was waylaid by two men who knocked him down and 
beat him with bludgeons about the head in a most dreadful 
manner so that he died on the following day. Hunter had 

A.D. 1849.1 



refused to join the trades union, formed at the colliery, which was 
supposed to have been the cause of the murder. The perpetrators 
of the deed were not discovered. 

1849 (October 31). Early this morning a most alarming and 
destructive fire broke out in the General Bond Warehouse, 
situated in the Close, Newcastle, belonging to Mr. Amor Spoor, 
and before the flames could be subdued the contents of two of the 
warehouses, which principally consisted of hemp, tallow, groceries, 
wine, brandy, rum, &c., &c., were completely destroyed. The 
damage was estimated at several thousand pounds. 


November 1. The first election of councillors for the newly- 
incorporated borough of Tynemouth took place, and considerable 
excitement prevailed amongst the inhabitants. All places of 
business were closed, bands of music paraded the streets guns 
were fired, and every token of rejoicing was manifested. Captain 
Lmskill was the returning officer appointed by the charter, and the 
polling, which commenced at eight o'clock, continued with unabated 
activity until four o'clock in the afternoon. The official declaration 
was made at eight o'clock, in the Town Hall, as follows : Tune- 
mouth Ward Mr. Solomon Mease, 262; Mr. John Carr Low 
Lights Pottery 256 ; Mr. Robert Cleugh, 215; Mr. Matthew 
Popplewell, 212 ; Mr. John Owen, 161 ; Mr. George Shotton, 161. 
3?T* 7o ere ther Six candida tes. North Shields Ford Mr. 
Michael Spencer, 237; Mr. George Sabbas Tyzack, 230; Mr. B. 
Pow, 220; Mr. B. Forth, 197; Mr. George Hall, 166 j Mr. John 


Twizell, 141. There were other five candidates. Percy Ward 
Captain Linskill, 216 ; William Richmond, 195 ; E. H. Greenhow, 
190 ; William Davison, 174 ; Alexander Bartleman, 146 ; John 
Robson, 133. There were other four candidates. In the evening 
there was a grand display of fireworks, blazing tar barrels were 
rolled along the streets, and suppers and other entertainments were 
given at several of the inns. November 9th, some further 
rejoicings took place, on the election of mayor. Messrs. William 
Linskill, Robert Povv, Solomon Mease, Alexander Bartleman, 
Michael Spencer, and Matthew Popplewell were appointed the first 
aldermen of the borough, and Captain Linskill was appointed 
chief magistrate. The design for the common seal of the new 
corporation was fixed upon shortly after. The shield bears the 
arms of the former Priors of Tynemouth on a field gules three 
crowns in pale, or to which was added a ship, for a crest, with a 
miner and a sailor for supporters, and the motto, Messis ab altis 
our harvest is from the deep. 

1849 (November 9). The annual elections of mayors for the 
counties of Northumberland and Durham took place, with the 
following results : Newcastle Joseph Crawhall, esq., mayor ; 
Ralph Dodds, esq., sheriff. Gateshead - George Hawks, esq. 
Tynemouth Captain Linskill. Sunderland William Ord, esq. 
Durham Robert Thwaites, esq. Stockton Charles Trotter, esq. 
Morpeth William Clark, esq. Berwick William Smith, esq. ; 
William Elliott, esq., sheriff. 

December 4. This morning the inhabitants of North and 
South Shields were thrown into the greatest consternation by a 
most appalling and melancholy catastrophe occurring off the bar. 
It appeared that, during a heavy gale, a brig called the Betsy, of 
Littlehampton, and the Danish schooner Aurora, drove upon the 
Herd Sand, at the entrance of the river Tyne, by which their 
crews were placed in imminent peril. In a short time the New- 
castle and South Shields lifeboat, manned by twenty- four as able 
and experienced pilots as South Shields contained, was launched, 
and proceeded to the aid of the men on board of the vessels. The 
boat was soon alongside the brig, and ropes were being secured to 
the latter to facilitate communication, when a tremendous sea, in a 
conical form, caught the boat under its larboard quarter, canted it 
upwards, and then whirled it over, bottom upwards, the whole 
crew being engulphed in the boiling surge. The men on board 
the Betsy stood a few moments aghast at the awful scene, but did 
all they could under the circumstances by throwing pieces of timber 
overboard to aid any of the men to save themselves, but all in vain. 
Only four of the party were saved, the tempestuous sea washing 
the others away one by one. Thus, in a few moments, not a 
vestige was seen of twenty devoted and brave men, who had so 
shortly before breathed with hope and animation. All was hushed 
save the wild wind and the remorseless dash of billows, and no 
dirge sung the requiem of their departed spirits save the murmuring 
of the hollow sea. The accident created a great sensation through- 


out the kingdom, and a subscription, amounting to upwards of 
3,000, was raised for the widows and children of the unfortunate 

1849 (December 8). Died, at Linden, Northumberland, aged 76, 
Charles William Bigge, esq., a gentleman well known, universally 
respected, and, perhaps, during his life, one of the most active and 
useful members of the county with which he was associated by birth 
and interest, and a bright example of an English country gentleman. 
He was well educated, intelligent, upright, and straightforward in 
his conduct, kind and benevolent in his disposition, social in his 
habits, and of easy access to everyone who sought his intimacy or 
his aid and advice. Mr. Bigge, who succeeded to the family 
estates on the death of his father in 1794, was appointed, in 1798, 
Lieutenant-Colonel of the second battalion of the Northumberland 
Militia. In 1829 he succeeded Thomas Clennell, esq., as Chair- 
man of the Bench of Magistrates, the duties of which office he 
continued to discharge with great ability until 1830, when declining 
health compelled him to relinquish it. Mr. Bigge was considered 
for upwards of fifty years one of the leaders of the Whig party in 
Northumberland, but political strife never deprived him of the 
high respect and good opinion of his most determined opponents ; 
and as a friend, a landlord, a magistrate, and a master he was 
universally held in estimation. He removed from the old family 
mansion at Benton in 1812, having then completed the erection of 
his new hall at Linden. He was succeeded in his estates by his 
grandson. His eldest son, Charles John Bigge, esq., who was the 
first mayor elected for Newcastle after the passing of the Municipal 
Reform Act, died in 1846, aged 43. 

December 14. A public dinner was given in the Commercial 
Hotel, North Shields, to William Linskill, esq., Mayor of the 
New Borough of Tynemouth, in gratitude for his exertion " for the 
emancipation of the commerce of the Tyne." Upwards of 150 of 
the most respectable inhabitants were present, the chair being 
occupied by Mr. R. Pow, and the vice-chairs by Messrs. Bartleman, 
Spencer, and Straker. 

1850 (January 4). Messrs. Thomas and James Hodgson having 
disposed of the " Newcastle Chronicle," No. 4,459 was published 
by Mr. M. W, Lambert for himself and partners. The " Chronicle" 
was established iu 1764. by Mr. Thomas Slack, and was published 
until his death, in 1 784, when he was succeeded by his son-in-law, 
Mr. Solomon Hodgson. After Mr. Hodgson's death, in 1800, the 
publication of the " Chronicle" was continued by his widow, Mrs. 
8arah Hodgson, under the able management and editorship of Mr. 
William Preston, for upwards of twenty-two years. A splendid 
portrait and an exact likeness of Mr. Preston is now in the pos- 
session of Mr. Thomas Dixon, Newcastle. In 1822 Mrs. Hodgson 
died, and her sons, named above, took the management. May 24, 
1850, the " Chronicle" was published in new premises in Grey- 
street for the first time, the machinery being put in motion by one 
of Mr. W. Gr. Armstrong's hydraulic engines. 


185Q(January W). Died, at Bishopwearmouth,in Bridge-street, 
suddenly, aged 73, William Reid Clanny, esq., M.D., F.R.S., &c. 
The deceased had practised in Sunderland for upwards of forty- 
five years with great ability and success. In 1812 he turned his 
attention to the cause of the disastrous calamities in coal mines, 
and in the course of his studies he conceived the idea of a safety 
lamp, greatly different, however, from that at present in use. On 
the 1st October, 1813, his lamp was exhibited before the Literary 
and Philosophical Society in Newcastle, and in 1815 it was tried 
in Merrington Pit with some success, but owing to its cumbrous 
form it never came into use. As, however, it was not until 1815 
that either Sir Humphrey Davy or Mr. Stephenson commenced 
their investigations on explosive mixtures, it is clear that Dr. 
Clanny is entitled to considerable credit for his invention, and on 
February 3rd, 1848, he was presented with a testimonial, value 
200, by the Marquis of Londonderry and other coal owners. The 
deceased contributed largely to medical literature, and for his 
valuable works in that department he received the ribbon of the 
Legion of Honour and many other badges of distinction. A few 
days before his death Dr. Clanny presented the Literary Society of 
Sunderland with portraits of George III., Archdeacon Paley, the 
Marquis of Londonderry, Baron Cuvier, and the donor himself, 
the latter being from a painting by Reay, in the Town Hall, 
presented to the deceased by the medical profession in Sunderland. 

January 29. This afternoon three vessels sailed from the 
port of Sunderland, but, the wind blowing strong from the north- 
east, with a heavy sea, they were speedily driven ashore, near to 
the south pier, the waves at the same time making a complete 
breach over them. Immediate efforts were made to save the 
crews, but, notwithstanding the most strenuous exertions, four 
men, named Douglas, Proud, Chisholm, and Reay were swept 
away by the sea and drowned. The vessels in a short time after- 
wards became total wrecks. 

January 29. Great excitement was occasioned among the 
inhabitants in the vicinity of the Gaol, Newcastle, by the report 
that four convicts had made their escape. Between twelve 
and one at noon four prisoners under sentence of transportation, 
named Job Savage, John Dunn, William Donkin, and Matthew 
Oliver, had succeeded in making their way from the convicts' to 
to the debtors' yard, and by using a ladder belonging to some 
masons employed in the gaol, they gained the top of the high wall 
fronting Carliol-street. They next tied a rope which they had 
obtained to the ladder, when three of them lowered themselves 
into the street and made a precipitate flight towards Trafalgar- 
street. The fourth one (Job Savage) was not so fortunate, for on 
reaching the pavement he was seized by a person named Robson, 
who was passing at the time, transferred to his old quarters, and 
the escape of his comrades made known. A general pursuit was 
commenced, and they were traced up Pandon Dean, near the old 
water mill, and afterwards to Lambert's Leap. Dunn, weary with 


running, leaped over the wall and lay down, where he was captured 
by P.O. Turner. Donkin was taken in Mr. Ralph Naters' brewery 
yard, just as he was coming out. A most diligent search was 
made for Oliver, who eluded detection until about six o'clock, 
when he was apprehended by P.O. Graham, coming along the 
Shieldfield without his shoes. 


1850 (January 30J. Died, at Brancepath Castle, Durham, 
aged 51, William Russell, esq. Mr. Russell succeeded his father, 
the rebuilder of the castle, in 1822, and was elected a repre- 
sentative for the county of Durham in 1828, on the elevation of 
Mr. Lambton to the peerage. He was again returned in 1830 
and 1831, but did not offer himself after the passing of the Reform 
Bill. His estates devolved on his only sister, Emma Maria, who 
married the Hon. Gustavus Hamilton, eldest son of Viscount 
Boyne, and who soon after assumed the name of Russell. 

February^. This morning, between two and four o'clock, theshop 
of Mr. John Mitchell, silversmith, Sunderland, was broken into and 
the following articles stolen therefrom : 6 large sized gold lever 
watches ; 4 silver lever and 18 silver geneva watches ; 150 fancy 
stone rings ; eighty wedding rings ; &c., &c. The circumstances 
of the case were somewhat extraordinary, and it created great 
excitement in the town for several weeks. A man, named 
Magnay, was subsequently apprehended and transported for the 

February 20. George Darling, esq., of Fowberry Tower, Nor- 
thumberland, whilst hunting with Lord Elcho's hounds was 
thrown from his horse wherebv he received some severe internal 

K 1 


injuries. He was taken into a cottage near at hand. Professor 
Syme was sent for from Edinburgh, and every available assistance 
procured, but all efforts were in vain as he sunk rapidly and 
breathed his last on the 24th. Mr. Darling had recently 
succeeded to the estates of his uncle, Matthew Culley, esq., of 
Fowberry Tower, and a few weeks ago was appointed a magistrate 
for the county of Northumberland. The lamented gentleman was 
in his 44th year. 

1850 (February '25). A meeting was held in the Lecture Room, 
Newcastle, for the purpose of hearing a statement from Captain 
Ibbetson, who had been deputed by Her Majesty's Commissioners 
to assist in promoting an Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations, 
to be held in London m 1851, The Mayor (Mr. Crawhall) 
presided, and resolutions in support of the exhibition were carried 
unanimously. Eight local commissioners were appointed, the 
Mayor of Newcastle being the representative of lead mines and 
ornamental art ; the Mayor of Gateshead (Mr. Hawks), of iron 
works ; Mr. Hugh Taylor, of coal mines ; Mr. R. S. Newall, of 
machinery ; Mr. J. Pattinson, of chemical manufactures ; Mr. W. 
Smith, of shipbuilding ; Mr. R. W. Swinburne, of glass ; and Mr. J. 
Grey(Dilston), of agriculture. A subscription was opened to assist 
in carrying out the exhibition which ultimately amounted to 522'. 
Similar meetings were held in all the towns in the district, and the 
following were the names of the chairmen of the local committees 
and the amounts subscribed : Berwick Captain Smith, 26. Bar~ 
nard Castle Rev. G. Dugard, 13. Darlington F. Mewburn, 
67. Durham J. H. Forster, 170. HartlepoolJ. P. Denton, 
37. South Shields R. Anderson, 30. Sunderland W. 
Mordey, 205. Stockton C. Trotter, 5. 

March 19. An elegant and valuable testimonial was presented 
to Mr. John Mawson, of Mosley-street, Newcastle, consisting of a 
handsome silver tea service, the " Encyclopaedia Britannica" in 21 
volumes, " Allison's History of Europe" in 20 volumes, bound 
uniform with the above, and all enclosed in a beautiful mahogany 
case made for the purpose by Messrs. Sopwith. The tea service 
was manufactured by Messrs. Reid and Sons. Upon a silver 
plate in the front of the case is the following inscription: "A 
testimonial to the exemplary honour and rectitude of Mr. John 
Mawson, of Newcastle- upon- Tyne, as manifested in his commercial 
transactions, presented, in the name of the subscribers, by William 
McCulloeh, esq., of London, March 19th, 1850." 

March 23. The most intense horror was excited by the report 
that an atrocious and cunningly devised murder had been com- 
mitted on the person of a woman, named Elizabeth Forbes, by one 
who ought to have been her natural protector her husband, Patrick 
Forbes, in the Cloggers'-entry, Head of the Side, Newcastle. 
From the evidence given at the inquest, and subsequently at the 
trial of the wretched prisoner, it was clearly demonstrated that 
one of the most barbarous modes which could possibly be devised 
had been adopted in accomplishing this foul and unnatural murder. 


It was stated that the prisoner, who was a labouring man, led an 
intemperate life, and that his unfortunate wife was too frequently 
seen drinking ty his side in public houses where he resorted. On 
the day previous they had been together in the afternoon, and 
were much the worse of liquor indeed it was said that the woman 
had lost the use of her limbs and had to be carried upstairs to bed 
by the prisoner and some women. They were then left together, 
and early in the morning Forbes awoke his son, a boy 12 years of 
age, who was lying before the fire of their room, and told him 
that his mother was dead, and, upon an alarm being raised, it was 
discovered that the unfortunate woman had been murdered in a 
manner so horrible as to be almost unprecedented in the annals of 
crime, and it was not until a close examination had been made 
that the cause of death became apparent. The perpetrator of this 
monstrous act was tried and convicted before Mr. Justice Wight- 
man, on the 31st of July, and his execution took place at the foot 
of Carliol-street, near the Gaol, on the 24th August. 

1850 (March 30). A terrific gale visited the north-east coast of 
England, and the results were of a most destructive character. 
For some weeks previous the colliers bound from London to the 
Tyne, had been detained in Yarmouth Eoads by adverse winds, 
until the number of vessels there amounted to nearly 500, and on 
the 28th, the wind having changed, they were all liberated together. 
On the 29th the wind increased to a violent gale, and in the evening 
three vessels, the precursors of the fleet, were driven upon the 
rocks at Tynemouth. This morning these were followed by a 
Hanoverian galliot, next by a Swedish vessel, then by the Vigilant 
brig and the Mary Ann, of Shields, &c. By noon the gale was at 
its height, and the whole of the vessels having now arrived off the 
coast, a most extraordinary scene was witnessed as they crowded 
into the river. Happily there was no loss of life, but the spectacle 
of upwards of thirty stranded barks, some with valuable cargoes, 
was a most melancholy one. At Sunderlan J, Hartlepool, Bamburgh, 
Blyth, Amble, and other places, many casualties occurred, and 
the total loss of property was enormous : the damage at Sunderland 
alone being estimated at 26,000. 

April 27. Mr. John Horn Twizell, eldest son of John 
Twizell Wawn, esq., M.P., was accidentally drowned in the North 
Tyne, near Chollerford, whilst fishing, having been seized with a 
fit and fallen into the stream. The unfortunate young man was 
in his 22nd year. 

June 5. An explosion took place in the Wellington Pit, at 
Us worth, the property of Messrs. Jonassohn and Co. Nearly 160 
persons were down the pit at the time, but the effects of the 
explosion were confined to one portion of the mine, where twelve 
men and a boy were killed. 

June 20. The northern section of that great commercial 
undertaking, the south dock at Sunderland, was opened under 
circumstances of great ceremony and splendour. The dock was 
estimated to contain 260 vessels, and the half-tide basin, 28. 

260 HISTORICAL KEOlSTfcn OF ^A.D. 1850. 

Shortly after ten o'clock G. Hudson, esq., M.P., with the directors 
and shareholders of the company, walked in procession from the 
dock-office to the ferry-boat landing, where several gaily-decked 
steamers were in readiness, and the flotilla, which was joined by 
numberless craft, entered the tidal harbour, and passed into the 
dock amidst immense cheering from upwards of 30,000 spectators. 
Two vessels, the Welcome and the Cleadon, elaborately decked 
with flags, were next towed in, and placed under the coal drops, 
where they were speedily filled with Haswell and South Hetton 
coals, and they were immediately succeeded by two other ships, the 
Don and the Susannah. The directors then landed with their 
friends, and sat down to an elegant entertainment, laid out in the 
adjoining staith, the chair being occupied by Mr. Hudson. The 
chairman, in complimenting the directors on their energy in carrying 
out the undertaking, stated that the extent of the dock was 
unequalled by any in the kingdom. Great rejoicings took place 
amongst the inhabitants generally, and the day was kept as a 
holiday throughout the neighbourhood, 

l&5Q(June 24). The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
Northumberland Plate was won by Lord Eglinton's Elthiron (Cart- 
wright), beating Roland, Glauca, and four others. The Gold Cup 
was won by Lord Stanley's Canezou (Holmes), beating S. Ogle's 
Achyranthes. 5 to 1 on Canezou. A splendid race and won by 
a neck. 

June 28. Some time previous to this date Mr. Steel, draper, 
Blyth, had the pavement in front of his shop laid with flag- 
stones, and to-day, in consequence of one of the stones having 
risen considerably above its proper level, a mason was sent for to 
ascertain the cause. On raising the flag, which was about six 
stones in weight, it was discovered that three large mushrooms 
were growing underneath, and had evidently lifted it out of its 
proper position. 

July 30. The friends and admirers of Robert Stephenson, 
esq., M.P., the celebrated civil engineer, gave him a splendid 
public banquet in the Central Station, Newcastle, as a mark of 
respect for his talents, science, and unblemished character. The 
station was beautifully decorated for the occasion, and views of 
Mr. Stephenson's greatest public works were introduced with 
considerable effect, viz. : the Menai Tubular Bridge, the High 
Level Bridge at Newcastle, and the great viaduct at Berwick. The 
Hon. H. T. Liddell presided, the vice-chairs being occupied by 
the Mayors of Newcastle and Gateshead (Mr. Crawhall and Mr. 
Hawks). About 400 gentlemen were present, comprising almost 
every influential person connected with Newcastle, and the pro- 
ceedings throughout were of a very pleasing character. In the 
course of the evening it was stated that Mr. Stephenson had, up to 
this time, been engaged in the construction of 1,790 miles of rail- 
way in England alone. 

August 18. Four persons, named John Clark, John Forest, 
Elizabeth Carr, and Ann Bowey, engaged a boat at Sunderland 

A.t). 1850.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 261 

for the purpose of visiting Marsden Rock. They were subse- 
quently observed off the Dove Rock, near Hendon, but were never 
afterwards heard of. 

1850 (August 29). Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by the 
royal family, passed through Durham and Northumberland on 
her way to Scotland. At Newcastle the greatest preparations had 
been made to do honour to the royal travellers, and as her majesty 
had graciously consented to inaugurate the Central Railway 
Station, that building was beautifully decorated throughout. The 
approach of royalty to the ancient walls of Newcastle-upon-Tyne 
in olden times, according to traditionary records, had been marked 
with every demonstration of splendour harmonizing with the 
occasion, besides being accompanied with other features corre- 
sponding to the stirring period in which they lived, and, of course, 
too frequently, majesty was heralded in with shrill trump and all 
the pomp and circumstance of glorious war. But since those days 
of border feuds and civil and intestine broils other and more 
genial objects occupy the energies and pursuit of the nation, and 
instead of pillage and commotion the humanizing arts of peace 
have shed a refining and softening influence over the land, and 
England now stands conspicuous as possessing within itself 
resources of the highest order for the future elevation and welfare 
of its subjects. At twenty minutes to one o'clock her majesty's 
arrival at the High Level Bridge was announced by royal salutes 
fired from both sides of the river, and the train was immediately 
drawn into the Central Station, amidst deafening cheering and the 
wildest enthusiasm. After a formal reception of the authorities 
the Queen acknowledged the enthusiastic salutations of the spec- 
tators by bowing graciously, and then proceeded to the suite of 
apartments provided for her reception, where addresses from the 
Corporations of Newcastle and Gateshead were presented. The 
royal party subsequently partook of an elegant luncheon, and after 
a stay of about twenty minutes they returned to the train, where 
they made a brief but graceful adieu to the authorities and the 
assemblage generally, the carriages leaving the station amidst the 
firing of cannon and the heartfelt acclamations of the public, who 
densely lined the route for a considerable distance. The royal 
train then proceeded on to Berwick, where her majesty had 
graciously undertaken to open the magnificent railway bridge 
Which there connects the two kingdoms. The dense masses of 
people assembled at Tweedmouth and Berwick were quite 
astonishing considering the population of the district, and nothing 
could exceed the enthusiasm of all classes. A splendid triumphal 
arch spanned the lofty bridge, and upon it was the conspicuous 
and appropriate inscription, " The Last Act of the Union." At 
ten minutes past three the train came in sight, and as soon as it 
reached the station Mr. Leeman, chairman of the York, Newcastle, 
and Berwick Railway Company, conducted her majesty and the 
royal family, amidst every demonstration of joy, to a pavilion 
which had been erected and gaily decorated for their reception. 


The Mayor and Sheriff of Berwick and Colonel Wellesley were 
then presented by Sir George Grey, and her majesty having sur- 
veyed the beautiful and extensive panorama commanded by the 
pavilion and expressed her admiration of the landscape, wag 
graciously pleased to name the imposing structure the " Royal 
Border Bridge." After remaining a few minutes her majesty and 
the prince returned to the railway station, where an address from 
the Corporation of Berwick was presented and received very 
courteously. The royal party then took their seats and proceeded 
on their route amidst enthusiastic cheering. 

1850 (September S). A number of whales made their appearance 
off Tynemouth, and created some sensation amongst the numerous 
residents there. On the following morning upwards of fifty tons 
of fish arrived in Newcastle, and herrings were sold at eight a 
penny. The whales remained upon the coast for some days. 

September 28. This morning the passengers on the High 
Level Bridge were alarmed by a man jumping off the parapet into 
the river, and afterwards swimming towards the south shore. 
On enquiry it was found that the person's name was Williamson, 
employed at Hawks and Crawshay's foundry. The feat had been 
performed for a wager of a quart of ale. 

November 1. The first election of councillors for the new 
borough of South Shields took place, and considerable excitement 
prevailed during the day. At the close of the poll the following 
gentlemen were declared to be elected by Richard Shortridge, the 
returning officer : South Shields Ward James Young, 263; 
Thomas Stainton, 263: George Potts, 241; John Clay, 238; 
John N, Hall, 228 ; T. Wawn, 206 ; William Forest, 196 ; John 
White, 153; Thomas Hudson, 147. Jarrow Ward Matthew 
Stainton, 163; James Stevenson, 156; George Hudson, 128; 
J. W. Lamb, 121; J. P. Elliott, 106; John Toshach, 103; 
Joseph Grey, 92 ; Errington Bell, 90 ; J. F. Kennedy, 89. 
Westoe Ward John Robinson, 184; Thomas Forsyth, 156: 
C. N. Wawn, 141 ; Bostock T. Whinney, 136 ; H. Briggs, 115 ; 
T. Wallis, 114. 

November 5. Died, in Newcastle, aged 65, Mr. Thomas 
Hodgson. The deceased was formerly one of the propietors of the 
" Newcastle Chronicle," and was the editor of that periodical from 
the close of 1807 to the commencement of 1848, when serious 
illness disabled him from continuing his arduous task. Mr. 
Hodgson's literary attainments were considerable, and his acquaint- 
ance with the antiquities of the North of England was perhaps 
beyond that of any other individual in the district. He was of a 
very kind disposition, and greatly esteemed by a large circle of 

November 9. The election of mayors of the various boroughs 
in Northumberland and Durham took place with the following 
result : Newcastle William Armstrong, esq. ; Mark Lambert 
Jobling, esq., sheriff. Gateshead Joseph Robson, esq. Tyne- 
mouth William Linskill, esq. Durham John Henry Forster, esq. 


Stockton Charles Trotter, esq. Morpeth George Brumell, 
esq. Berwick George Ker Nicholson, esq.; Alexander Cahill, 
esq., sheriff. The ladies of Tynernouth presented the mayor of 
that borough with an elegant gold chain, value 100 guineas, to be 
worn by the newly elected and every future chief magistrate. 

1850 (November 11). A dreadful explosion of gas occurred in 
Houghton Colliery, the property of the Earl of Durham. From 
the close contiguity of the colliery to the town from which it 
derives its name, the alarm spread in all directions, and the usual 
quietude gave place to the greatest consternation by the report 
that 150 lives were destroyed, that number being down the pit at 
the time of the accident. A number of brave men volunteered, 
with the usual magnanimity displayed under such circumstances, 
to make an attempt to save their relatives and friends, and, after 
five hours arduous exertions, they succeeded in rescuing one 
hundred and twenty-four men and boys, many of whom were in a 
state of insensibility, the remainder, twenty-six in number, were 
found dead. The sufferings of the survivors, during the protracted 
period which elapsed before their deliverance, were of the most 
intense character, both bodily and mental, and the meeting between 
them and their disconsolate families, who had given them up as 
lost, will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it. The 
sufferers, with two exceptions, were unmarried, and the Earl of 
Durham ordered that every necessary relief should be afforded 

December 5. The Queen granted a new charter to the town 
of Hartlepool, by which it was in future to be governed by a 
mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors. Much rejoicing 
took place on the obtainment of this document, the former charter 
having been peculiarly obnoxious to the inhabitants generally. 

December 18. A boiler explosion occurred at Crow Trees 
Colliery, Durham, by which two men lost their lives. December 
20th, a similar accident occurred at Ford Paper Mill, near Sunder- 
land, by which a father and son, named Oliver, were killed. 

December 1 9. A public dinner was given in the Golden Lion Inn, 
South Shields, to John Clay, esq,, mayor of the borough, as a mark 
of the respect of the inhabitants and in celebration of the incorpo- 
ration of the town. One hundred and forty gentlemen sat down to 
dinner, the chair being occupied by R. Ingharn, esq., M.P., and the 
vice-chairs by Messrs. Mather, Paxton, and Wallis. 

1851 (January 4<). Died, at Ramsey, Isle of Man, aged 38, Sir 
Henry Claude Loraine, third son of the late Sir C. Loraine, bart., of 
Kirkharle. By the deaths of three nephews in succession, within 
two years, William Loraine, esq., one of the magistrates for the 
borough of Newcastle, succeeded to the baronetcy, which has been 
attached to the family for several generations. 

January 6. The first election of councillors for the borough 
of Hartlepool took place, in accordance with the provisions of 
the new charter. There were twenty-seven candidates, and much 
excitement prevailed throughout the day. The following gentle- 


men were declared elected : S. Robinson, 472 ; Robert Hunter, 
304 ; Thomas Robson, 302 ; John Todd, 287 ; C. Davison, 280 ; 
John Mowbray, 278; R. Brewis, 272; R. E. Button, 269 ; R. 
Winstanley, 267. January 14th, Stephen Robinson, esq., was 
elected mayor, J. P. Den ton, W. Gordon, C. Davison, and J. 
Winstanley aldermen, and Thomas Belk town clerk. 

1851 (January 10). Died, at Fenham Hall, near Newcastle, 
aged 79, Colonel Robert Bell. The deceased served the office 
of Mayor of Newcastle in 1822-3, and was the only alderman of 
the old corporation appointed to the same office under the new 

February 8. Mr. William Martin, the well-known Christian 
Philosopher and " Philosophical Conqueror of All Nations," died 
in London, aged 79. (See Sykes, vol. 2, page 82.) The deceased 
from his earliest youth exhibited considerable indications of 
mechanical genius, and on the 31st of May, 1814, he received the 
silver medal and ten guineas from the Society of Arts for his 
invention of a spring weighing machine, with circular dial and 
index. His genius, however, was not always so beneficially 
exercised nor so well employed, for in 1821 he announced that he 
had discovered the principle of perpetual motion, and in the 
following year he exhibited his " Eureka" in London and other 
places. Its motive power was a strong current of air, and it is 
unnecessary to add that it failed to answer the purpose of its 
inventor. He then published " A New System of Natural Philo- 
sophy, in Refutation of Sir Isaac Newton and other Pretenders to 
Science." In June, 1830, he undertook a lecturing tour through- 
out England, and returned in the summer of the following year 
triumphant. From that time till within two years of his death 
the " Philosopher" continued to print his lucubrations on all sorts 
of subjects in great abundance, and his extraordinary attempts at 
poetry contributed greatly to the amusement of the people. His 
eccentricities of costume were not less remarkable : for some years 
previous to his death his head-dress consisted of the shell of a 
tortoise, mounted with brass, and his breast was generally orna- 
mented with a variety of stars and other decorations of unknown 
derivation. This harmless eccentric was the brother of Jonathan 
Martin, the notorious incendiary, and of the celebrated painter, 
John Martin, who kindly invited him to his residence in 1849, and 
with whom he spent his last days in comparative affluence. The 
following is a specimen of his poetry : 

The laclie Faversham, a bark of 30 keels, sunk in Shields harbour did much 

annoy ; 
The Martinian invention gave her the grand lift, the people, well pleased, 

shouted for joy. 
Glover, the diseased potatoe quack doctor, of his wisdom people have of him 

their doubts, 
Writer for a silly doctor in Sunderland, both as daft as the calf that eats 


George Stephenson and son, mock Engineers, and both knaves and loons, 
If they do not answer the Philosopher, a proof that he has snuffed out their 

full moons. 

Jl.D. 1851-1 REMARKABLE EVENTS. 265 

1851 (February II). A splendid piece of silver plate, costing 
upwards of 500 guineas, waspresented to Ralph Ward Jackson, esq., 
of Greatham Hall, by the merchants, shipowners, tradesmen, and 
others, residing in West Hartlepool, or connected with its trade, 
as a token of their admiration of the skill, energy, and patient 
perseverance displayed in projecting and executing the Hartlepool 
West Harbour and Docks. If the adage nil desperandum was ever 
applicable it was in this case, for in despite of natural and alleged 
scientific difficulties one individual of indomitable spirit and enter- 
prise undertook the work, and the result has been crowned with 
the most complete success. Hence the harbour, docks, and works 
of West Hartlepool, once a morass and moor, covering an extent 
of near 300 acres, with the town, now having a population of 
upwards of 20,000, has sprung up into notoriety, as if by talis- 
manic influence, and what a few years ago was a solitude is now a 
flourishing mart of industry, trade, and commerce, with its docks, 
quays, and shipping, its streets and thoroughfares, public buildings 
and other concomitants, the harbingers of future greatness. The 
presentation took place at a public dinner, at the Ship Hotel, to 
which 150 gentlemen sat down, Mr. E. Turnbull, of Hartlepool, 
presiding. Description of the testimonial : Elevated on a column 
decorated with bull-rush and lotus leaves is the bust of Mr. Jackson; 
around are the figures of Commerce, Science, and Industry. 
Industry, with the distaff in her hand and the bee hive by her side, 
supports it on the right, while Science, her foot resting on the 
globe, is decorating the bust with a wreath of laurel, and Com- 
merce, the cornucopia by her side and the caduceus in her hand, is 
pointing to a view taken from the sea of the Hartlepool West 
Harbour and Docks. Reclining on the base are the figures of 
Neptune and JEolus, the representatives of the elements, wind and 
water ; between are groups of shipping implements, and on the 
pedestal below are panels containing the inscription, arms, cypher, 
and crest of Mr. Jackson, and the various mouldings are formed 
of cables and oak leaves. The whole is placed beneath a revolving 
glass shade, upon a stand richly carved with dolphins on the feet 
and emblematical devices on the sides, and stands upwards of six 
feet in height. The testimonial, which was much admired by the 
company, has been displayed in several of the public exhibitions of 
this country. 

March 3. Died, in Oyster Shell-lane, Newcastle, aged 63, 
Mr. William Mitford, shoemaker. The deceased was one of the 
last of the old school of local poets, and was well known in the 
district. His " Pitman's Courtship," for its liveliness and fidelity 
to nature, may be considered one of the best of Newcastle songs. 

March 18. Whilst twenty-three fishing boats were follow- 
ing their occupation off Newbiggen, Northumberland, a gale 
suddenly arose, and the sea was instantly thrown into a violent 
state of commotion. The fishermen made for the shore as speedily 
as possible, and nearly the whole of them got into Cresswell in 
safety, but two boats, which attempted to land at Snab's Point, 



were upset, and of the crews, eight in number, only one man was 
saved. A third boat was upset at Newbiggen and two of the men 
were lost. The melancholy accidents were witnessed by hundreds 
of spectators, who were perfectly unable to render assistance, 
although the men were drowned within a few feet from the shore. 
The scene was one of the most heartrending description : men, 
women, and children, running to and fro in wild despair, and 
nothing was heard for some time but sounds of lamentation 
commingling with the roar and surge of the ocean. The sufferers 
were nearly all closely related to each other, and a subscription 
was raised for their surviving relatives. 

1851 (March 22). The coal miners of Northumberland and 
Durham assembled in the Lecture Room, Newcastle, for the 
purpose of presenting Mr. James Mather, of South Shields, with 
an elegant piece of plate as a token " of their gratitude for his 
talented and praiseworthy exertions in promoting measures to 
diminish the dangers arising from bad ventilation and other causes 
in the mines of this kingdom." 

April 3. A numerous and influential meeting of the Governors 
of Newcastle Infirmary was held in the large hall, for the 
purpose of transacting the usual business of the anniversary, and 
considering the expediency of enlarging the building. The Infirmary 
was first established in 1751, consequently that meeting formed 
the centenary of the institution. August 6, another meeting was 
held, the Duke of Northumberland in the chair, when resolutions, 
urging the necessity of the extension, were proposed by William 
Ord, esq., M.P., Matthew Bell, esq., M.P., the Hon. H. T. Liddell, 
W. B, Beaumont, esq., &c. The chairman subscribed 500, offering 
to double it if the alterations were fully carried out. The Bishop 
of Durham and Mr. Beaumont gave 250 guineas each ; Misses 
Davison, Lemington, 250 ; the Corporation of Newcastle, 200, 
and munificent donations from other parties, soon raised the 
required funds to upwards of 5,000. 

April 7. The public baths and wash-houses erected by the 
Corporation of Sunderland, from designs by Mr. Thomas Oliver, 
architect, at a cost of about 3,000, were opened for the use of 
the public, and the building was pronounced one of the most 
elegant and commodious of the kind in the kingdom. 

May 19. A violent thunderstorm passed over this town and 
neighbourhood. A man, named Thomas Fibb, was struck dead 
on the Durham-road, near Gateshead Low Fell. He was going to 
meet his father and mother and other friends, who were coming 
from Chester-le-Street, and who were little more than one hundred 
yards from him when he was struck by the electric fluid. They 
observed a person fall, but did not suspect who it was, and it was 
some time before they recognized the fallen youth to be their 
relative. He was much scorched about the face and his clothes 
were torn off and scattered about the road. The lightning also 
struck the house of Mr. J. Atkinson, Windmill-hills, Gateshead, 
but although the ornaments were knocked off the mantel-piece of 


the sitting-room and the walls severely shattered, Mr. and Mrs. 
Atkinson escaped unhurt. The house of Mr. Muras, Arthur's- 
hill, Newcastle, was also seriously damaged by the electric fluid. 
A child on the Rabbit-banks, Gateshead, was also struck by the 
lightning, and several others were more or less affected during the 

1851 (May). About the end of this month Richard Grainger, 
esq., commenced pulling down the old buildings in Nun's-gate, 
preparatory to widening the thoroughfare and erecting a row of 
handsome shops and warehouses of the same style of architecture 
as Grainger-street. 

June 13. A fire suddenly broke out in an unfinished house 
in Elswick West-terrace, Newcastle, the property of Mr. William 
Dunn, builder. It was discovered by George Cantley, who was in 
the act of ascending to the second storey by means of a ladder, and 
on placing his hand upon the stone against which the ladder rested, 
he found it hot, and his head, as he was about to pass into the 
room, was surrounded by flames, he was much burnt about the 
hand, his paper cap was destroyed, his hair singed, his face scorched, 
but he instantly retreated and escaped further damage. The flames 
rapidly spread over the entire premises as well as to a house 
adjoining, arid in a short time the whole were entirely consumed, 
Mr. Scaife, solicitor, resided on the south side of the burning pro- 
perty, and his family being from home at the time, the mob forced 
an entrance and completely sacked the house of the furniture, 
pulled down the marble chimney pieces, and left the place in little 
better condition than the adjoining ruins. 

June 23. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. T. Williamson's b c 
Neasham (Haxby), beating Testator, Jack Leeming, and five others. 
The Gold Cup was won by Mr. Eden's ch m The Maid of Masham 
(Abdale), beating Lord Stanley's Ariel. 

July 2. Mr. John Challoner, who for upwards of twenty years 
held an important situation on the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway, 
determined to join his son, Mr. J. S. Challoner, sharebroker, 
Dean-street, Newcastle, as pariaerin the business. In consequence 
of this arrangement Mr. Challoner resigned his situation this day, 
Matthew Plummer, esq., who presided as chairman when Mr. 
Challoner's resignation was sent in, informed him that the directors 
received it with regret, and assured him that they had the highest 
regard for him personally, and a just sense of his faithful services 
for more than twenty years, and, as a further mark of their satis- 
faction at his conduct, requested his acceptance of 100, and also 
ordered that the expression of their sentiments should be entered 
on the minutes of their proceedings. In conclusion, the worthy 
chairman expressed his pleasure in making the announcement, 
and added his own testimony from personal knowledge to the 
industry, honour, and integrity of his conduct whilst connected 
with the company, and sincerely wished him success in the 
business he had made choice of. 

268 HISTORICAL REGISTER OF {&.!>. 1851. 

1851 (July 2 5> Whilst a party of gentlemen were drinking 
champagne in the Bridge Hotel, Sunderland, some practical joking 
took place, in the course of which Mr. Buchanan, shipbuilder, 
threw a tumbler glass at Mr. C. John Spence, shipbroker. The 
missile hit Mr. Spence on the head, and wounded him so seriously 
that he died on the 4th of August. Mr. Buchanan was tried for 
the offence, before Baron Alderson, at the ensuing assizes, and 

July 51. Sir T. J. Platt, Justice of Assize, arrived in New- 
castle, and was met at the railway station by the High Sheriff 
of Northumberland (Sir Horace St. Paul, bart.) Departing from 
conventional usage, the High Sheriff's carriage was simply an old 
britska, without heraldic ornaments, the trumpeters were in 
ordinary habiliments, and instead of six horses the vehicle was 
drawn by two animals in homely harness, and was unattended by 
any servants on horseback. The learned Judge, in charging the 
Grand Jury, expressed "his great regret that in this important 
County the gentry should be so reduced as not to show ordinary 
respect to the Crown. In this country, where disloyalty is con- 
sidered a slur, it was to be regretted that the usual and ordinary 
garniture by which that loyalty is displayed should not have been 
exhibited on this occasion." The High Sheriff, with great warmth, 
declared the charge of disloyalty to be unjust. Baron Platt 
retorted, " Then I must say that, as a gentleman who has ample 
means, that loyalty has not been exhibited." 


August.' About this time workmen commenced removing the 
old buildings opposite the Roman Catholic Chapel, in Clayton- 
street, Newcastle, for the purpose of erecting a new chapel for the 

A.D. 1851.] 



congregation which had hitherto worshipped in the Groat-market. 
A portion of the walls of the town and the " Pink Tower," which 
once served as an outer rampart, were removed by the workmen, 
not without considerable regret on the part of antiquarians . 

1851 (August 15). Much excitement was created in Newcastle 
on it becoming known that Mr. James Scott, assistant-overseer 
for St. Nicholas' parish, had absconded with a large sum of money. 
The deficiency was afterwards found to be 3,000. Scott fled to 
America, and took a large farm, but in the course of 1852 he was 
discovered lying dead in his grounds, with a gun lying beside him. 
Whether his death was premeditated or accidental was not, how- 
ever, ascertained. 

August 18. A fearful colliery accident occurred at Washington, 
Durham, by which thirty-two men and boys unfortunately 
perished, besides two brave fellows, named Hutchinson and 
Errington, who lost their lives in a magnanimous attempt to save 
those of others. The explosion was believed to have occurred in 
consequence of a man having removed the top from his Davy lamp. 
Ten widows and thirty-three children were left destitute by this 
melancholy catastrophe, but a handsome sum was raised by sub- 
scription for their relief. 


August 27. Great consternation was created in Morpeth 
from a report that a butcher, named Joseph Milburn, had been 
robbed and murdered during the night. It appeared that on the 
previous evening he had ridden to Bothal Rectory to receive an 
account. On his return he called at a public house at East 


Choppington, where he remained till about midnight when he left 
the house with a friend, a Mr. Lowes. Next morning his horse 
was found with the bridle cut, Milburn's hat lying on the road 
side, and his pocket-book turned inside out beside it. Search was 
made for Milburn in every direction, but without avail, and it was 
afterwards discovered that the scoundrel, who was deeply embar- 
rassed, had decamped to America. 

1851 (September ~L). A most distressing and fatal accident 
occurred at Howdon, on the river Tyne, by which seven persons 
were drowned. As a sculler boat, containing seventeen persons, 
was proceeding from the village to a steamboat lying in the river, 
about to proceed to Marsden, the frail vessel came in contact with 
the stern of a ship and was overturned. By great exertions on 
the part of the persons who witnessed the accident, ten of the 
party were rescued but the remaining seven were unfortunately 
drowned, and six of them being young girls their untimely fate 
created considerable sensation in the neighbourhood. 

September 21. A serious affray took place at Ellingham, near 
Alnwick, between the inhabitants of the place and a party of 
reapers. During the disturbance an Irishman, named Bernard 
Dogherty, was wounded by a shot from a gun carried by Mr. 
James Adams, draper, from the effects of which he died. The 
gun was discharged by mere accident. 

September 26. A fearful gale of wind from the north-east 
arose to-day, and great losses occurred amongst the shipping 
near the coast. At Sunderland the fall of rain was extraordinary, 
and an immense amount of damage was done. About a mile of 
railway along the shore was totally washed away, and a black- 
smith's shop shared the same fate. Many ships, principally in 
the coal trade, were lost at sea during the gale, and a considerable 
number of their crews. 

September. During this month, whilst some excavations were 
being made at High Rochester, Northumberland (the Roman 
Bremenium), a very fine altar was discovered with an inscription 
proving that the station had been garrisoned by the first cohort of 
the Varduli, as stated in the Itinerary of Antoninus. 

October 10. The High Sheriff of Northumberland (Sir Horace 
St. Paul, bart.), by an advertisement of this date, proposed to 
give three prizes amounting to 315, as well as three silver 
vases, for the best three essays on " Temperance physiologically, 
religiously, and statistically considered." Several essays by writers 
of acknowledged talent were sent in, but the prizes have never 
been awarded. 

October 18. Died, at Munich, aged 76, Isaac Cookson, esq., of 
Meldon Park, Northumberland. He was Mayor of Newcastle in 

October 31. An explosion of gas took place in West Moor 
Colliery, near Newcastle, by which nine of the miners were 
killed and six seriously burnt. One hundred and thirty persona 
were in the mine at the time of the accident, but the effects of the 

A.D. 1852."] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 271 

explosion were confined to a small portion of the workings. It 
was stated at the inquest that the mine had seventy miles of air 

1851 (November 3). A boiler explosion occurred at the factory 
of Messrs. Waterson, Curds and Cream House, near Newcastle, by 
which Mr. George Waterson, one of the firm, lost his life, and a 
workman was severely scalded. 

November 10. The following gentlemen were elected mayors 
and sheriffs for the ensuing year : Newcastle James Hodg- 
son, esq., mayor ; Isaac Lothian Bell, esq., sheriff. Gateshead 
Charles John Pearson, esq. Tynemouth Alexander Bartleman, 
esq. South Shields John Clay, esq. Sunderland James 
Hartley, esq. Durham- Richard Thompson, esq. Stockton-^ 
Charles Trotter, esq. Hartlepool Stephen Robinson, esq. Mor- 
peth William Trotter, esq. Berwick William Smith, esq., 
mayor ; John Pratt, esq , sheriff. 

November 21. This day the Sunderland Joint Stock Banking 
Company stopped payment. The paid-up capital of the concern 
was only 75,000, and the deposits amounted to about 30,000. 
The deficiency was found to be about 24,000, or 5 per share. 
The conduct of the directors was stated by the committee appointed 
by the shareholders to have been reckless, deceptive, and im- 
provident to a degree almost unparalleled, and the shareholders 
dismissed them from their office with great indignation. In June, 
1857, it was announced that the liabilities of the bank had been 
wholly paid off, 

December 2. Early this morning a fire broke out in North 
Shields Theatre, and in less than three hours the entire building, 
with the valuable scenery, properties, and wardrobe, were com- 
pletely destroyed. The erection and its contents, which together 
were worth upwards of 3,000, were the property of Mr. Roxby, 
and it was supposed that the fire had arisen from a spark dropped 
during the performance. The theatre was first opened on the 5th 
of November, 1783, by Mr. Cawdell, the then manager, on the 
site of a building which had been used as a place of detention for 
prisoners taken during the French war, and the house was for 
several years under the management of the celebrated Stephen, 
Kemble. April, 1852, whilst workmen were excavating the ground, 
preparatory to building a new theatre, three coffins were found a 
few feet below the surface. 

December 12. Died, at North Shields, aged 39, Mr. George 
Whitehead Hearn, professor of mathematics at Sandhurst College. 
Mr. Hearn was a native of North Shields, and when very young 
exhibited proofs of great mathematical ability. He subsequently 
wrote in several scientific works, and highly distinguished himself 
at Cambridge, where he was sixth wrangler in 1839. His writings 
were always distinguished by clearness and originality, as well as 
by an elegant and elaborate mode of investigation. 

1852 (January). The weather was so mild at this time that 
strawberries were gathered in some gardens near Tynemouth in 


the first week of this year, and an apple tree, at Wallsend, 
belonging to Mr. Crozier, was covered with blossoms. 

1852 (January 4). Died, at North Shields, aged 106, Mrs, 
Hannah Gibbons. 

January 10. In consequence of a high wind from the north- 
east, the tide rose to an unusual height in Shields harbour, and 
nearly 100 feet of the wall at Clifford's Fort was carried away. 
A number of vessels broke from their moorings, and during the 
day the Blackett and Ridley, one of the oldest colliers in the trade, 
was lost at sea. Much damage was done to the new docks, at 
Sunderland, and the lighthouse on the south pier was almost 
washed away by the waves. 

January 16. A person, named Christopher Wilkinson, em- 
ployed in Chester-le-Street Brewery, and his son, Robert, were 
drowned whilst endeavouring to cross the river Wear near that 
place in a cart, the river being much flooded at the time. 

February 24. Died, at Sunderland, aged 59, Mr. Thomas 
Pigg. The deceased, in his younger days, followed the laborious 
employment of a coal trimmer, and was, up to the age of 37, so 
ignorant of the rules of arithmetic as to be unable to calculate his 
wages, but by excessive application and perseverance he became 
one of the first mathematicians in the North of England, and for 
many years answered the most difficult problems in the " Ladies' 
Diary." He contributed to several mathematical periodicals, and 
was extensively known and appreciated by scientific men. 

April 24. Died, at Sedgefield, aged 104, Mr. John Piles, 
for seventy-four years in the services of the Russell family at 

May 5. A green linnet's nest, with the moss, hair, and 
other materials in a good state of preservation, was found in the 
centre of a solid log of English elm, which was being cut up in the 
yard of Mr. Lumsden, block maker, Monkwearmouth. 

May 6. A fearful explosion of gas took place in Hebburn 
Colliery, near Newcastle, the property of Messrs. Easton and Co. 
Two hundred workmen were in the mine when the calamity 
occurred, but the effects were confined to the Monkton Flat, in 
which twenty men and two boys were working, all of whom were 
suffocated. Fourteen of the sufferers left widows and families, 
and, as a proof of the uncertainty of life amongst miners, one of 
the women had lost two husbands in the same awful manner. 

June 3. As Mrs. Wood, of Newcastle, with two children 
and a servant, were proceeding from Tynemouth to Marsden in a 
pleasure boat, a thunderstorm suddenly broke over them, during 
which the boat was upset, and the children, together with the 
waterman, were unfortunately drowned. Mrs. Wood and the 
servant were picked up by a coble belonging to Messrs. Fry, of 

June 4. A dreadful boiler explosion occurred at Spital 
Tongues Colliery, near Newcastle, by which the engineman and 
fireman were killed. The fragments of the boiler were thrown in 


all directions, and portions of it struck two women and inflicted 
serious injuries. 

1852 (June 16). An explosion took place in Seaton Colliery, 
near Seaham, Durham. Six men and a boy were working at the 
place where the accident happened, and all of them perished. 

June 22. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. Meiklam's b c Stilton 
(Aldcroft), beating seven others. The Gold Cup was won by Mr. T. 
E. Headlam's na Evadne (Alcroft), beating Mr. Martinson's Nancy. 

June 30. A splendid iron screw steamer, constructed by 
Messrs. Palmer Brothers, at Jarrow, and the first vessel of that 
description which had been built for the London coal trade, was 
launched in the presence of a numerous and influential concourse 
of spectators. At the conclusion of the ceremony about three 
hundred ladies and gentlemen partook of an elegant luncheon, 
provided by the builders. C. Palmer, esq., presided, supported by 
the Mayors of Newcastle, Shields, Sunderland, and Gateshead, and 
several of the principal merchants of the district. The proceedings 
concluded with a ball, which was led off by the Mayoress of New- 
castle and Mr. C. Palmer. The vessel, which was named the John 
Bowes, was 465 tons register, was calculated to carry thirty keels 
of coals, and to make thirty trips per annum between Newcastle 
and London. It was ballasted with water under a recent patent 
of Dr. White, of Newcastle. July 29, the vessel sailed from the 
Tyne with her first cargo of coals, arrived in the Thames on the 
31st, and completed her return voyage to the north on the 3rd of 

July 1. In consequence of the accession of the Earl of 
Derby to the head of the Government, Parliament was prorogued 
and dissolved this day, and writs were immediately issued for a 
new election. Owing to political causes the contests throughout 
the country were unusually numerous, and much excitement pre- 


July 6. The nomination took place before Isaac Lothian. 
Bell, esq., sheriff. Mr. Alderman Lamb proposed, and Mr. John 
Rayne seconded, the re-election of T. E. Headlam, esq. Sir John 
Fife and Mr. J. T. Carr proposed and seconded John Fenwick 
Burgoyne Blackett, esq. Mr. Alderman Potter and Mr. C. Smith 
proposed and seconded William Henry Watson, esq., Q.C. At 
the close of the poll, on the 7th, the result was : Mr. Blackett, 
2,418; Mr. Headlam, 2,172 ; Mr. Watson, 1,808. 


July 6. The nomination took place before J. Clay, esq., mayor. 
Mr. John Twizel Wawn proposed, and Mr. R. Shortridge seconded, 
Robert Ingham, esq. Mr. Robert Sanderson and Mr. Alderman 
Robinson proposed and seconded the Hon. H. T. Liddell. At the 
close of the poll the numbers were : Mr. Ingham, 430 ; Mr. 
Liddell, 249. 




1852 (July 6). There were four candidates for the representation 
of this town. At the close of the poll the result was : Mr. M. 
Forster, 400 ; Mr. John Stapleton, 323 ; Mr. J. C. Renton, 228 ; 
Mr. R. Hodgson, 192. In May, 1853, Messrs. Forster and 
Stapleton were declared not to have been duly elected, having 
been guilty of bribery. Majoribanks and Forster (son of the late 
member) were ultimately returned. 


j u ly 7. The nomination for this city took place before the 
Mayor (Richard Thompson, esq.) Mr. Alderman Storey and 
Mr. George Robson proposed and seconded the re-election of T. 
C. Granger, esq. Mr. Wharton and Mr. Wilkinson nominated 
Lord Adolphus Vane. Mr. Henderson and Mr. Oliver proposed 
and seconded William Atherton, esq. The numbers at the close 
of the poll were : Mr. Granger, 576 ; Mr. Atherton, 510 ; Lord 
Adolphus Vane, 506. 


July 7. The nomination for this borough took place before the 
Mayor (James Hartley, esq.) Mr. Bramwell and Mr. William 
Ord proposed and seconded George Hudson, esq. Mr. Feather- 
stonhaugh and Mr. Alderman Hutchinson nominated Henry 
Fenwick, esq. Mr. Mordey and Mr. Alderman Wilson nominated 
William Digby Seymour, esq. The result was as follows : Mr. 
Hudson, 865 ; Mr. Seymour, 813 ; Mr. Fenwiek, 655 


July 7. The election took place before the Mayor (Alexander 
Bartleman, esq.) Mr. Joseph Straker and Mr. Alderman Pow 
proposed and seconded Ralph William Grey, esq. Mr. Alderman 
Popple well and Mr. J. Dry den nominated Hugh Taylor, esq. 
Two other persons were also put in nomination, but withdrew 
after delivering addresses Mr. George Applegate, coal heaver, 
London, and Mr. J. Watson, bookseller, Newcastle, The result 
of the poll was as follows : Mr. Taylor, 340 ; Mr. Grey, 328. 


July 8. The Hon. Edward Howard was elected without 


July 8. Mr. Alderman Pollock and Mr. Alderman Smith 
nominated William Hutt, esq. Mr. Cook proposed, and Mr. 
Wilkinson seconded, Ralph Walters, esq. Mr. Barras and Mr. 
J. Green proposed the Hon. Adolphus Liddell. At the close of 
the poll the numbers were : Mr. Hutt, 270 : Mr. Liddell, 193 ; 
Mr. Walters, 136. 


July 13. The nomination of candidates took place before the 
High Sheriff (T, W. Craster, esq.), at Hexham. William 

A. D. 1852.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 275 

Ord, esq., and Joseph Lamb, esq., proposed and seconded Went- 
worth Blackett Beaumont, esq. Sir Matthew White Ridley, bart., 
and J. B. Coulson, esq., nominated Henry George Liddell, esq. 
J. B. Blackett, esq., and the Rev. E. G. Ogle proposed and 
seconded George Ridley, esq. At the close of two days' polling 
the numbers were : Mr. Beaumont, 2,306 ; Mr. Liddell, 2,132 ; 
Mr. Ridley, 2,033. 


1852 (July 15). The elections for this division took place before 
John Bowes, esq., sheriff. There being no opposition Lord Harry 
Vane and James Fairer, esq., were declared duly elected. 


July 16. The old members, Viscount Seaham and R. D. 
Shaftoe, esq., were returned without opposition. 


July 19. The nomination took place at Alnwick before Henry 
William Fenwick, esq., under-sheriff. C. W. Orde, esq., and 
Bryan Burrell, esq., nominated Lord Ossulston. Sir YV~. C. 
Trevelyan, bart., and P. J. Selby, esq., proposed Sir George 
Grey, bart. O. B. Cresswell, esq., and J. Cookson, esq., nomi- 
nated Lord Lovaine. At the close of the second day's polling the 
numbers were: Lord Lovaine, 1,414; Lord Ossulston, 1,335; 
Sir George Grey, 1.300. 

July 5. A fearful thunderstorm passed over Northumber- 
land and Durham. At Alnwick the lightning was attracted by 
some long poles, used for supporting the scaffolding of some 
buildings then in course of erection, and killed two men who had 
taken shelter from the rain ; several other men were stunned. At 
Matfen ice fell in large masses, and immense damage was done to 
the fields and gardens, many trees being completely stripped of 
foliage. At Swinehope two persons were killed by the lightning 
while sitting in a bedroom. At High House, Weardale, a boy, 
named Redshaw, was killed ; and at Brier Hill, in the same locality, 
a boy, named Beck, was struck dead. At Ben sham two men, named 
Birtley and Penman, were killed. At Bankwell-stairs, Gateshead, 
two children, named Avery, were killed by the fall of an old wall, 
which was forced down by the accumulation of water. Throughout 
the valleys of the Tyne and Wear a vast destruction of agricultural 
property took place, owing to the immense quantity of rain which 
fell ; and, altogether, the storm was of the most disastrous kind. 
During another violent storm on the following day the railway 
bridge over the brook at Allerwash, near Hexharn, was carried 
away whilst a train was passing over it, but the passengers escaped 
unhurt, though the guard had a narrow escape, being carried 
across the river, and from which he was with some difficulty 

July 11. Died, at Jersey, aged 67, Sir John Lambton Loraine, 
bart., many years post-master at Newcastle. The mortality in 
this family for some time previous was very remarkable. 


1852 (July 24). The members of the Archaeological Institute of 
Great Britain, commenced their Annual Session in Newcastle. 
The party was received in the Assembly Rooms by the Mayor 
(James Hodgson esq.), who presented Lord Talbot de Malahide, 
the president, with an address from the council of the borough 
expressing its gratification at the visit of the institute. Lord 
Talbot in his address referred to the services rendered to arch- 
geology by various residents in the district, and more particularly 
by the late Mr. Thomas Hodgson, the Rev. J. Hodgson, Mr. 
Surtees, and Sir Cuthbert Sharp ; also to the Duke of Northumber- 
land, the Rev. Jas. Raine, Mr. Hudson Turner, and Sir John 
Swinburne. After various sectional meetings, and papers read on 
divers subjects, on the 26th, the members sat down to the Anniversary 
Dinner, in the Assembly Rooms, Lord Talbot presided, supported 
on his right by Mrs. Mayoress, the Duke of Northumberland, the 
Earl of Carlisle, the Hon. H. T. Liddell, Mr. P. M. Howard, and 
Mr. J. Clayton ; and on his left by the Mayor, Lord Lovaine, Sir 
E. Blackett, bart., Sir W. Riddell, bart., Mr. J. H. Hinde, Mr. 
Headlam, M.P., &c., &c. On the 27th a numerous party visited 
Morpeth, Bothal, VVarkworth, Alnwick Castle, and Hulne Abbey, 


at all of which places the most considerate arrangements had been 
made for the convenience of the travellers. On the 30th the 
members paid a visit to Hexham, and inspected the stately Abbey 
Church. They then proceeded by train to Bardon Mill, where 
conveyances were prepared for assisting the party to the celebrated 
Roman Station of Borcovicus (the " Tadmor of Britain"), upon the 
Great Wall. Here the Rev. J. C. Bruce performed the duties of 
guide with great ability, and a lengthy tour along the remains of 

A.D. 1852.1 



the still magnificent barrier. Ample justice was done to the 
generous hospitality of John Clayton, esq., the owner of the 
station. September 1st, the final meeting took place, in the 
Assembly Rooms, when the Rev. J. C. Bruce read a paper on the 
" Excavation at Rochester" (Bremenium), and Mr. H. Turner 
another on the " Ancient State of Northumberland." Votes of 
thanks to the Mayor and Corporation, to the nobility and gentry 
of the district, &c., &c., were carried by acclamation, and the 
interesting proceedings terminated by the Mayor proposing a vote 
of thanks to the noble president for the great ability, courtesy, and 
kindness he had exhibited throughout the meeting. 

1852 (September 7). A public dinner was given in the Corn 
Market, Newcastle, to Henry George Liddell, esq., M.P., in com- 
memoration of his return for South Northumberland. The chair 
was taken by Sir M. W. Ridley, bart., the vice-presidents being J. B. 
Coulson, esq., J. H. Hinde, esq., and R. Errington, esq. Nearly 
400 gentlemen sat down to a very sumptuous dinner, and the 
proceedings of the evening were of a highly pleasing and enthu- 
siastic character. 

Previous to the Building of the New Corn Market. 

September 8. A public dinner was given to William Ord, esq., 
of Whitfield, in the Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, on his retire- 
ment from Parliament, and in testimony of the high esteem 


entertained by his late constituents of his public services as a 
member of the House of Commons during a period of fifty years. 
The chair was taken by James Hodgson, esq,, who was supported 
on his right by Mr. Ord, the Earl of Carlisle, Mr. Blackett, M.P., 
Sir W. C. Trevelyan, bart., Mr. Hutt, M.P., the Hon. F. Grey, 
Mr. P. H. Howard, and Mr. Alderman Lamb ; and on his left by 
Earl Grey, the Earl of Durham, Mr. Headlam, M.P., Mr. 
Beaumont, M.P., Mr. Carter, M.P., Mr. Ingharn, M.P., Mr. G. 
Ridley, Dr. Headlam, and Sir John Fife. The vice-chairs were 
filled by the Sheriff of Newcastle (I. L. Bell, esq.), Mr. J. Losh, 
and Mr. M. R. Bigge. About 200 gentlemen sat down to dinner, 
and amongst those who had intimated their regret at being unable 
to attend were the Marquis of Lansdowne, Lord John Russell, the 
Earl of Zetland, Lord Panmure, Lord Colborne, and Sir James 

1852 (OctoberQ and 7). The extensive estates of North and South 
Gosforth, Seaton Burn, and Coxlodge, the property of the Rev. 
R. H. Brandling, were sold by auction at the Queen's Head Inn, 
Newcastle, by order of the Court of Chancery, Mr. Alderman 
Farebrother, of London, auctioneer. Amongst the principal lots, 
the manor of North and South Gosforth, 790 acres in extent, was 
bought by Mr. T. Smith for 25,200 ; Low Gosforth Estate was 
purchased by Joseph Laycock, esq., for 20,000 ; Seaton Burn 
House, Six Mile Bridge Farm, and Coxlodge Farm were sold to 
Mr. Riddell Robson for 24,000 ; High and Low Weetslade, 
Wideopen, and Brunton Farms were knocked down to Mr. Smith 
for 46,000. The total proceeds of the sale reached 155,000, 
exclusive of the timber. 

October 24. Married, at Earsdon, near North Shields, Mr. 
Benjamin Lee to Mrs. Isabella Baxter. The pair were both 
upwards of 73 years of age, and this was the bride's ninth appear- 
ance at the altar. 

November 9. The annual election of mayors for the boroughs of 
Northumberland and Durham took place, with the following re- 
sult: Newcastle Nathaniel Grace Lambert, esq., mayor ; Henry 
Ingledew, esq., sheriff. Gateshead John Lister, esq. Sunderland 
James Hartley, esq. Durham John Bramwell, esq. South Shields 
George Potts, esq. Morpeth Stephen Wilkinson, esq. Hartle- 
pool Peter Barker, esq. Stockton Charles Trotter, esq. Ber- 
wickThomas Bogue, esq., mayor ; Robert Ramsay, esq., sheriff. 

.December 6. An extraordinary and fatal accident occurred 
this evening, in Northumberland-court, Newcastle. It appeared 
that a Mr. William Glover, who occupied the upper room in a 
tenement house, had frequently missed articles from his room, and 
being of an ingenious turn of mind, he had, some time before, 
devised a plan to prevent all intrusion for the future. Having got 
a large horse-pistol loaded with slugs, he attached the trigger in 
such a manner to the door of the apartment that any one entering 
caused the pistol to explode, but he was able to admit himself by 
pulling a string, which passed through the frame of the door. On 

A.D. 1853.] 



the above evening, however, he had forgotten to observe the 
necessary precaution, when the pistol went off, and the contents 
killed him instantaneously. 

1852 (December 25). The Christmas of 1852 will long be remem- 
bered as the period of one of the most terrific storms ever known 
to the inhabitants of these latitudes. The previous evening gave 
premonitory symptoms of the coming tornado, which, during this 
day and up to the morning of the 27th, blew down scores of 
chimneys and unroofed hundreds of houses in Newcastle and 
Gateshead. Mr. William Veitch, foreman of Messrs. Atkinson 
and Philipson, coach manufacturers, was passing along Maving's- 
entry, in Pilgrim-street, on the morning of the 27th, about half- 
past ten o'clock, when a tile fell upon him and fractured his skull 
so dreadfully that he died in about two hours. It may be said that 
the storm reached its greatest violence on the 27th. Then the 
fabrics that had weathered the tempest of the previous days tottered 
and fell, and the wind, accompanied by drenching showers, raged 
with a fury that threatened to tear everything to pieces, and the 
stoutest and stateliest buildings appeared to shake and quiver in 
the blast. Nothing to equal the fierceness of the tempest had been 
known since the well remembered hurricane of January, 1839. 
At Durham, Sunderland, Hartlepool, Stockton, Darlington, and 
many other places a great nnmber of houses were unroofed. In 
the country stacks were overturned and carried away, trees torn 
up, &c., and numerous personal injuries were sustained. 


1853 (January 11). A boat, containing four men, was upset on 
the Tees, near Stockton, during a squall, and three of the party, 
named Wilson, Harle, and Williamson, were unfortunately drowned. 


1853 (February 11). One of the heaviest falls of snow which 
had occurred for many years in this district commenced this day, 
and continued with little intermission during the ensuing week. 
The railway trains, both from the north and the south, were greatly 
delayed, although as many as five engines were occasionally 
employed to one train. The turnpike roads from Newcastle to 
Otterburn, Shotley Bridge, and Blyth, were quite impassable for 
some time, and several persons lost their lives during the storm. 
Amongst these were Mr. John Laidler, shoemaker, Seaton Sluice, 
found dead on Blyth Links ; Henry Nerry, lost between Stanhope 
and Edmond Byers ; Thomas Baron, lost near Stagshaw Bank ; 
and Mrs. Mackenzie, who died between Percy Main and North 
Shields. Many disasters also occurred at sea. On the 24th the 
Sir William Wallace was lost upon the Herd Sands at the mouth 
of the Tyne, and her crew, seven men, a woman, and a boy, all 
perished. On the 26th a fishing boat returning to Cullercoats was 
upset and two men were drowned. 

February 26. This evening a tremendous explosion of gas 
occurred in a provision shop in Buckingham-street, Newcastle, 
occupied by Mr. William Walker. An escape of gas had been 
perceived for several days previous, and the explosion occurred in 
consequence of Mr. Walker removing a portion of the shop floor 
and introducing a candle to examine the pipe. Mrs. Walker who 
was standing near at the time was blown into the street with the 
whole of the shop front, and was so much mutilated that she died 
in a few days after. 

March 21. A fishing boat, called the Dean Swift, belonging 
to Blyth, was capsized off that place, and three men, named 
Armstrong, Foggin, and Dixon, were drowned. 

March 28. A political banquet upon a grand scale took 
place at Alnwick, upon the presentation of a piece of plate to Sir 
George Grey, bart., M.P., by the working men of Northumberland. 
A large wooden pavilion was erected in the Market-place, and the 
tickets for admission, 1,500 in number, proved quite inadequate to 
supply the demand for seats. The chair was taken by Sir W. C. 
Trevelyan, bart. ; supported on his right by Sir G. Grey, bart, the 
Earl of Carlisle, Mr. Beaumont, M.P., the Hon. and Rev. J. Grey, 
the Rev. R. W. Goodenough, Mr. M. R. Bigge, &c. ; and on his 
left by Earl Grey, Lord Panmure, the Hon. and Rev. F. R. Grey, 
Mr. Ingham, M.P., Mr. Blackett, M.P., &c., &c. The vice-chair 
was occupied by P. Selby, esq., who was supported by the Mayors 
of Newcastle and Berwick, Mr. P. G. Selby, Mr. Ralph Carr, 
Captain Widdrington, Sir J. Gibson Craig, Mr. Ellice, jun., M.P., 
&c., &c. Dinner being concluded, the testimonial was brought 
forward and displayed amidst great cheering. It consisted of a 
splendid silver candelabrum, supported by figures of a ploughman, 
a sailor, a blacksmith, and a miner, and ornamented with the arms 
of Morpeth, Alnwick, and Berwick. There was also a massive 
salver, beautifully embossed, the whole being valued at upwards 
of 400, and bearing the following inscription : " To the Right 

A.D. 1853.] 



Hon. Sir George Grey, bart, G.C.B., from more than 13,000 of 
the working classes of Northumberland, in testimony of their 
gratitude for his support of the just, wise, and beneficial measure 
of Free Trade, and their respect for his private worth, and for the 
eminent integrity and ability which have distinguished his public 
career." Mr. Michael Young, a clerk in the Bedlington Iron 
Works, presented the testimonial in a neat speech, which was 
much applauded, and Sir G. Grey afterwards returned thanks in 
an eloquent address. Earl Grey, the Earl of Carlisle, Lord 
Panmure, Mr. Ingham, Mr. Beaumont, and Mr. J. B. Blackett 
also addressed the assemblage, which broke up highly delighted 
with the proceedings. 


1853 (AprilZJ). Died, at Stagshaw House, near Hexham, aged 
68, Joseph Crawhall, esq,, an eminent merchant of Newcastle, of 
which town he was an alderman and served the office of mayor in 

May 13. This evening a fire broke out in the warehouse of 
Messrs. Oliver and Co., oil manufacturers, Close, Newcastle, which 
raged with great violence for several hours, causing a very lament- 
able destruction of property. The warehouse adjoined the river 
Tyne, and was close to the High Level Bridge, but although fears 
were at one time entertained for the safety of that magnificent 

N 1 


structure, they fortunately proved groundless. The principal 
sufferers were Mr. Ay ton, corn merchant, Mr. Ridley, provision 
merchant, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Waterfall, and Messrs. Oliver. The 
loss altogether was upwards of 10,000. The building, which 
was insured, stood exactly upon the site of an extensive range of 
premises which were destroyed 68 years before, by one of the 
greatest conflagrations remembered in Newcastle. See Sykes, 
September 8th, 1785. 

1853 (May 23> The largest ship hitherto built on the Tyne was 
launched at St. Peter's, near Newcastle, by Messrs. T. and W. 
Smith, in the presence of about 40,000 spectators. The vessel was 
named the Carlo Alberto, and was built for the Sardinian Govern- 
ment. She was pierced for fifty guns, and subsequently fitted with 
a screw propeller and engines of 400 horse-power. Her burthen 
was 2,500 tons. 

June, 1. A dog crab was caught amongst the rocks at 
Tynemouth, having a sixpence firmly attached to the shell of its 
back. The coin had probably fallen upon the crab when its outer 
covering was in a soft state, as the shell had grown considerably 
over the edge of the piece. 

June. About this time Messrs. Swinburne and Co., South 
Shields, received at their works, from the manufactory of Messrs. 
Hawks, Crawshay, and Sons, Gateshead, a new cast iron table, 
for the purpose of casting large plate glass. This table measured 
in length 220 inches by 130 broad, and seven inches thick. It 
weighed 26 tons, and was supposed at that time to be the largest 
table ever planed for casting glass. 

June 22. Cardinal Wiseman performed high mass this 
morning at Ushaw College, assisted by the titular bishops of 
Hexham, Beverly, Plymouth, and Salford, and 150 priests, in 
consequence of the Rev. Dr. Newsham having completed his 
fiftieth year's residence at that college. The event was celebrated 
with much rejoicing. In the afternoon Dr. Newsham was pre- 
sented with his portrait. A dinner afterwards took place in the 
refectory, to which about 400 ladies and gentlemen sat down, 
amongst whom were Sir W. Lawson, bart., P. H. Howard, esq., 
M, Salvin, esq., W. H. Charlton, esq., and E. Waterton, esq. 
Music and other entertainments concluded the festivities. 

July 1. Died, at Hawkwell, near Alnwick, aged 110, in the 
full possession of her faculties, Mrs. Elizabeth Langlands. 

July 5. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. Murray's br c Kingston, 
beating thirteen others. The Gold Cup was won by Sir C. 
Monk's Vindex, beating Kingston. 

August 22. As a small steamer, called the William, was 
proceeding from Newcastle to Shields, she was run down by the 
screw steamer Sir John Easthope, and the passengers and crew, 
about fifty in number, were left to struggle for life in the river. 
Owing to the exertions of some boatmen the whole were ultimately 


rescued ; but the steersman, who had a leg broken, expired soon 
after, and several of the others were much injured. 

1853 (August 26). Died, in Newcastle, aged 81, the Rev. Ralph 
Henry Brandling, formerly of Gos forth Hall, Northumberland, 
and the last of a long roll of " Brandlings of Gosforth." The 
deceased was one of the chief founders of the Natural History 
Society of Newcastle. His kindness and generosity to the poor, 
and his considerate attention to his numerous workmen, so long as 
he had an opportunity of manifesting it, commanded universal 
respect and esteem. 

September 1. During the summer of this year considerable 
apprehension was diffused throughout the country by accounts of 
the prevalence of Asiatic cholera in several cities in Germany, 
and that the disease was gradually advancing westward. At last 
a decided case of this fearful disease was reported from London, 
followed soon after by similar mortality in Liverpool and Hull, 
and on the above date the disease appeared in a most malignant 
form, and almost simultaneously, in three or four parts of New- 
castle. It was not, however, for some days that any great alarm 
was felt at its presence ; but on the 9th, when between thirty and 
forty deaths had occurred, the attention of the inhabitants became 
decidedly fixed on its progress. Additional medical officers and 
nurses were appointed. Several druggists were directed to dis- 
pense medicines gratuitously to the poor, and numerous precau- 
tionary measures were carried out, the Board henceforth sitting 
nightly to superintend the arrangements. On the 16th of Sep- 
tember, on it transpiring that the number of deaths that day 
exceeded 100, the consternation and dismay of the inhabitants 
became intense, and business was almost suspended through the 
terror and anxiety of all classes. The mortality of each day was 
declared in the evening by the Guardians, amidst great trepidation, 
and as the deaths showed no diminution on the 17th, 18th, 19th, 
and 20th, but were reported to have increased on the last mentioned 
date to the fearful number of 119, despondency and gloom were 
upon every face. Many persons removed their families from the 
town altogether, and as strangers entirely shunned its streets, the 
absence of traffic, save the continual tramp, tramp, tramp, and 
ceaseless processions to the places of interment, had a most 
depressing effect upon all. During this appalling fatality the 
Board of Guardians continued to meet daily to hear the reports of 
their officers. Preventive measures of every kind were put in force, 
wherever required, and at length, on the 24th, the disease for the 
first time shewed symptoms of abatement, the deaths having fallen 
to 59. The mortality, though liable to fluctuations, from this time 
sensibly declined, and in about four weeks more the town began to 
assume its wonted appearance. Upwards of 1,500 persons had 
then been swept away by it. A remarkable feature of the epidemic 
was the destruction which occurred in particular families. In one 
house, at Arthur's-hill, the father, mother, five children, and 
grandmother were carried off within a few days, and in numerous 


cases a husband, wife, and two or more children were recorded to 
have rapidly followed each other to the grave. At Gateshead the 
mortality was 433 ; the township of Heworth, 98 ; Whickham, 
21 ; Winlaton, 14. At Hexham 25 per cent, of the whole popu- 
lation was more or less affected, and the number of deaths 26. 
One medical gentleman, Mr. Farbridge, his wife and two daughters, 
were amongst the lamented victims. Whalton, one of the most 
pleasant and salubrious villages in Northumberland, was terribly 
afflicted by the scourge. Out of 220 inhabitants, forty-five were 
attacked, and twelve died. In North and South Shields thirty- 
eight deaths took place. At Howden the epidemic raged in its 
most malignant form, breaking out in the same room in the same 
house it made its appearance in on the previous visitations of 1831 
and 1849, and nearly thirty deaths took place. At Blyth, also, 
about twenty fatal cases were reported, and isolated deaths occurred 
in several other places. 

1853 (September 12). This evening a cab, containing a man, 
two women, and four children, besides the driver, was proceeding 
quickly along Deptford New-road, Sunderland, when, owing to the 
darkness of the night, it fell over into the ravine below, a depth of 
40 feet, and what is remarkable, neither passengers, driver, nor 
horse were much hurt. 

October 3. A fire broke out this morning, in the Bee Hive Inn, 
East Holborn, South Shields, occupied by Mr. W. Thompson. The 
whole of the inmates were obliged to fly from the premises in their 
night dresses, and the progress of the flames being accelerated by 
a high wind, the house and its contents were speedily consumed. 

November 9. The annual election of mayors for the boroughs 
of Northumberland and Durham took place, when the following 
gentlemen were elected: Newcastle Ralph Dodds, esq., mayor; 
John Gibson, esq., sheriff. Gateshead David Haggie, esq. 
Morpeth Nicholas Wright , esq. Tynemouth Matthew Poppel- 
well, esq. South Shields John Robinson, esq. Sunderland- 
Samuel Alcock, esq. Durham George Robson, esq. Hartlepool 
Peter Barker, esq. Stockton William Skinner, esq. Ber- 
wick Patrick Clay, esq,, mayor ; Dr. Johnston, esq., sheriff. 

November 28. Died, in London, aged 76, General Sir Thomas 
Bradford, G.C.B. This distinguished officer married Mary Anne, 
daughter of James Atkinson, esq., of Newcastle, and his eldest 
son, James Henry, succeeded to the estates of Ralph Atkinson, 
esq., of Angerton, near Morpeth, and took the name of that 
gentleman. The deceased was interred at Hartburn, where he 
had previously placed an elegant monument, by Chantry, in 
memory of his wife. 

December 16. Died, at Hartlepool, in his seventieth year, Mr. 
William Purvis, widely known in the northern counties as " Billy 
Purvis." The deceased was born at Auchindinny, near Edin- 
burgh, but was brought to Newcastle by his parents at an early 
age. Having been at school for some time, with Mr. Sessford, he 
was apprenticed to Mr. John Chapman, joiner, Bigg-market. 


The deceased resided in the same house, in the Close, for nearly 
sixty-six years, ever proving himself, as far as dialect was con- 
cerned, a devoted Newcastletonian. His propensity for the stage 
was indicated at an early age, and he became " call boy" at the 
Theatre Royal, Newcastle, while it was under the management of 
Stephen Kemble. After some coquetting with the muse as an 
amateur, and several perambulations in the surrounding districts 
as a conjuror, a clown, and a performer on the Northumberland 
bagpipes, he finally established himself as proprietor of an itinerant 
theatre, about 1818, and maintained that position, doubtless with 
many vicissitudes, up to the day of his death. His peregrinations 
throughout the North of England, and in Scotland, made his name 
a " household word" in every district, and there have been few 
men in his station so popular with almost all orders of society. 
To his credit it may be added that he brought up a large family 
in a most respectable manner, and his contributions to the very 
inadequate stock of harmless pleasures will long be remembered 
with feelings of respect and regret. 

1853 (December 20). A most destructive fire broke out in 
Bell-street, North Shields, in premises occupied by Mr. Duncan 
McGregor, marine store dealer, and Mr. Hutchinson, ship chandler. 
In the immediate vicinity were the premises of Mr. Green, grocer, 
Mr. Sobbs, pipe-maker, Mr. Taylor, sail-maker, and Mr. Stewart, 
ship owner, and, owing to the high wind which was raging, these 
buildings were speedily set on fire, and were entirely consumed; 
The damage was estimated at 2,500. 

1854 (January}. One of the most severe frosts that has occurred 
during the present century was experienced in the beginning of 
this month. With the exception of one date (January 15, 1815), 
when Mr. Losh's observations at Jesmond recorded the temperature 
at 8 deg., and a second in 1838, when, at Prudhoe, the thermometer 
was observed at 5, and at Ryton, 3 deg., being 29 deg. below 
freezing. On the 3rd the wind, which for several days had been 
north-west, veered suddenly round to south-east, and the tempera- 
ture rose considerably. The change of wind, however, had a most 
disastrous effect upon the shipping near the coast, as about 1,500 
vessels had left Yarmouth Roads for the north, and their attempts 
to reach their destination became extremely hazardous, owing to 
the violence of the storm. On the 4th the fleet was off Tynemouth, 
and although some hundreds of vessels entered in safety, a great 
number of others got upon the Herd Sands and the opposite rocks. 
The scene was of the most exciting character. The tempestuous 
sea dashing its foaming billows over the venerable ruins at Tyne- 
mouth. The noise of the noble vessels breaking up, crash after 
crash, mixed up with the distant and unharmonious scream of the 
sea-fowl in the narrows, the wreckage and material strewed along 
the harbour, with an armed body of police, with drawn swords, 
attempting to guard the remains of the scattered property, was alto- 
gether a scene characteristic of our iron bound coast, at this season 
of the year. At Sunderland twelve vessels were driven behind 


the north pier, and two behind the south pier, twelve went aground 
upon the Potato-garth, and five more at Polka Hole, one third of 
which became total wrecks. At Hartlepool eight laden vessels 
grounded upon the bar and became wrecks, and a still larger 
number were driven ashore near the mouth of the Tees. All along 
the coast, indeed, the loss of life and property was very serious. 
After a temporary calm the gale again arose on the 7th, and 
continued to rage with fearful violence until the morning of the 
10th. This second hurricane proved more disastrous than its 
predecessor, owing to the disabled state of many of the vessels still 
at sea, and at the conclusion of the storm sixty ships had been 
wrecked between the mouth of the Tees and Hartlepool, forty at 
Sunderland, thirty-four at Tynemouth, ten at Warkworth, and 
about forty others at various places in the neighbourhood, besides 
many which were supposed to have foundered at sea. The loss at 
the mouth of the Tyne alone was estimated at 50,000. On the 
afternoon of the 7th a calamitous disaster took place, at Newbiggen, 
which resulted in the " total loss of a Norwegian ship called the 
Embla. The ill-fated vessel and her crew, 13 in number, were 
lost under very melancholy circumstances, from the refusal of the 
men who had charge of the lifeboat stationed there to go out. 
The ship struck on the beach, and for nearly four hours was the 
sport of the breakers when she went to pieces and all was over. 
The captain was washed ashore in the course of the evening, and, 
when found, his body was still warm. Upon his person were 
found 25 sovereigns and 5 Norwegian notes, together with a letter 
written by a lady named Lousia Hanseu, of Christiana, in terms 
of the fondest endearment, and addressed to Captain Gustavus 
Kock. He was a remarkably handsome man, about 26 years of 
age, and was buried on the llth at the neighbouring village of 

1854<( January 13^). At a meeting of the committee of the Literary 
and Philosophical Society, Newcastle, Mr. Fen wick stated that 
he and Mr. Kell were commissioned by Robert Stephenson, esq., 
M.P., one of the vice-presidents, to inform the committee that, 
feeling grateful for the advantages which he had derived from the 
library when a young man, and being anxious to extend the same 
advantages to others, that gentleman was prepared to pay one-half 
of the debt of the institution (6,200), upon condition that the 
other friends of the society should discharge the remainder of the 
debt before the next anniversary, and that the annual subscription 
should be reduced to one guinea. Mr. Stephenson afterwards 
extended the period for paying off the debt to February, 1856. 

January 17. Died, at Douglas, Isle of Man, aged 65, John 
Martin, R.A. This great artist was born at East Land Ends, 
near Haydon Bridge, Northumberland. Whilst a boy his parents 
removed to Newcastle, where his father taught the sword and 
single stick exercise at the Chancellor's Head Inn, and here 
Martin, after a year's drudgery as a coach painter with Mr. 
Wilson, learnt the rudiments of drawing from an Italian of some 


reputation, named Musso. In 1806 he removed with his master 
to London, and Martin, after passing some time there with Mr. 
Musso, junior, a celebrated enamel painter, supported himself by 
painting on glass and by teaching. His first picture was painted 
in the year 1812. The subject was " Sadak in search of the 
Waters of Oblivion," and of this Martin himself said, " You may 
easily guess my anxiety when I overheard the men who were to 
put it into the frame disputing as to which was the top of the 
picture." The work was, however, sold, for fifty guineas. His 
next works were "Paradise," "The Expulsion," " Clytie," 
" Joshua," " Fall of Babylon," " Macbeth," " Belshazzar's Feast" 
(which gained the prize of 200 at the British Institution), " The 
Destruction of Herculaneum," " The Seventh Plague," " Satan in 
Pandemonium," " The Paphian Bower," " The Creation," " The 
Deluge," and " The Fall of Nineveh." These are the works by 
which he is most known, although many others of high merit might 
be mentioned. He received 2,000 guineas for his illustrations of 
Milton, which added greatly to his reputation. He left partially 
unfinished three large works, " The Last Judgment," " The Great 
Day of His Wrath," and "The Plains of Heaven," which at the 
time of his death were being exhibited in Newcastle. Besides his 
professional studies Mr. Martin was the author of several schemes, 
several of which were exceedingly ingenious and useful. 

1854 (February IS). By order of the Queen in Council theburial- 
grounds connected with the various churches of Newcastle were 
ordered to be immediately closed. By subsequent orders the 
churchyards at North and South Shields, Sunderland, Alnwick, 
and other towns were also closed. 

February 18. The friends of Mr. I'Anson, surgeon, Arthur's- 
hill, Newcastle, gave him a complimentary dinner at the 
Blenheim Inn, Marlborough-street, Mr. John Gibson, builder, in 
the chair, after which a silver tea service, accompanied with a 
gold watch, manufactured by Messrs. Reid and Sons, with suitable 
inscriptions thereon, was presented by Mr. Gilmore, in the names 
of upwards of 300 subscribers, principally of the Westgate town- 
ship, as a testimonial of their esteem for his character, and as a 
mark of their appreciation of his exertions during the late visita- 
tion of cholera, 

March 6. Died, at Holderness House, Park Lane, London, 
aged 76, Charles William Vane Stewart, Marquis of Londonderry. 
His lordship was born in 1778, and in 1804 married Lady Caroline 
Bligh, first daughter of the third Earl of Darnley, who died in 
1812; and he married, secondly, in 1819, Lady Francis Anne, 
only daughter of Sir Harry Vane Tempest, bart., and Anne 
Countess of Antrim. The immense possessions to which this lady 
was heiress, together with the fact of her being a ward in 
Chancery, attracted at the time a great deal of public interest. 
In 1814 the deceased, in recognition of his distinguished services, 
was called to the peerage of the United Kingdom by the title of 
Baron Stewart. On the calamitous death of his elder brother 


(Viscount Castlereagh) the late peer succeeded to the Irish 
honours of his family. In 1823 his lordship was created Earl 
Vane and Viscount Seaham in the British Peerage. The marquis 
was a Knight of the Garter, and amongst other honours conferred 
on him by his own and by foreign sovereigns was that of the 
highest grade of the Order of the Bath, the St. George of Russia, 
the Black and Red Eagles of Russia, the Tower and Sword of 
Portugal, the Sword of Sweden, &c., &c. He was also Gustos 
Rotalorum of the Counties of Londonderry and Down, and Lord 
Lieutenant of the County Palatine of Durham. From his two 
estates, Wynyard Park and Seaham Hall, and his extensive 
colliery concerns in Durham, he derived a large income and 
possessed much influence. The funeral took place on the 16th 
at Long Newton Church, the burial place of the ancient families 
of Vane and Tempest, and, although the proceedings were as 
private as possible, a large number of the neighbouring inhabi- 
tants assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to the deceased. 
After the body followed the usual accompaniment of a soldier's 
funeral : his horse led by a groom. In the first mourning coach 
were the chief mourners, Lord Castlereagh, Lord Seaham, and 
Lord Portarlington ; in the next were the pall bearers, His Grace 
the Duke of Cleveland, the Marquis of Camden, Lord Hatherston, 
General Brown, Colonel M'Dowell, and Colonel Williams, &c. 
The funeral ceremony was conducted by the Rev, T. H. Dyke, 
rector, in the presence of a crowded and deeply impressed congre- 
gation. At Durham, Sunderland, Stockton, and Seaham Harbour 
the funeral of the Lord-Lieutenant of the county was observed by 
the closing of shops, tolling of bells, arid other solemn manifesta- 
tions. The deceased entered the army as an ensign in the year 
1794, and saw some service in the unfortunate expedition to 
Holland, in the course of which he received a severe wound. 
All throughout the Peninsular operations there was no more 
gallant officer than Charles Stewart. He was among the last to 
quit the beach at Corunna. During the subsequent campaigns his 
name was always honourably mentioned. At Talavera, Busaco, 
Fuentes D'Onor, and Badajoz he highly distinguished himself. 

1854 (March 31^. Her Majesty's proclamation of war against 
Russia was received by the mayors of the various towns in this 
district, and was published in the usual manner. 
^ April 1. Died, at Greenwich, aged 67, Edward Riddle, esq,, 
F.R.S. The deceased was born at Otterburn, Northumberland, 
from whence he removed to Whitburn, near Sunderland, and 
afterwards, through the recommendation of Dr. Hutton, was 
appointed master of the Trinity House School, Newcastle, which 
he conducted for seven years, proving himself of the greatest 
service to the nautical education of the port. Whilst in that 
situation he made an extensive series of lunar observations to 
ascertain the exact longitude of Newcastle, and discovered the 
mean longitude to be 1 deg. 37 min. 17 sec. W. These observa- 
tions are given in his " Remarks on the Present state of Nautical 


Astronomy," in 1821. In the same year, through the influence 
of his early friend, Dr. Hutton, he became head master of the 
Greenwich Hospital Schools, where he remained until the period 
of his retirement, in 1851. His son, John Riddle, F.R.A.S., 
succeeded his father at Greenwich. 

1854 (June 14). As Mr. Thomas Burnet, of Summerhill-grove, 
Newcastle, was returning from his country residence, near Winlaton, 
to Newcastle, in company with three of his daughters in a phaeton, 
the horse took fright, when Mr. Burnet was thrown out and so 
severely injured that he died in a few hours. The young ladies 
escaped with trifling injuries, but a child was run over by the horse 
and killed. 

June 14. A number of the old pupils connected with the St. 
Nicholas' School, Carliol-square, Newcastle, presented their late 
master (Mr. J. Findley) with a handsome silver watch and gold 
chain, together with an address expressive of their esteem and 
regard for his long and faithful services in connection with the 
school. The address was elegantly written on parchment, mounted 
in a neat gilt frame, and signed by the whole of the contributors. 

June 15. This being the day appointed for the ceremony of 
laying the foundation stones of the piers at the mouth of the Tyne, 
the River Commissioners, as well as the Corporation of the town, 
assembled in the Guildhall. Soon after ten o'clock they formed in 
procession, Joseph Cowen, esq., chairman of the commissioners, 
and Joseph Straker, esq., of North Shields, heading the procession, 
followed by John Clayton, esq., the Vicar of Newcastle, the 
Sheriff, and other members of the corporation. As the procession 
started from the Quayside a salute of guns was fired, every quay 
on each side of the river was decorated with flags, and the flotilla 
was received with the liveliest demonstrations of joy. The pro- 
cession, on landing at South Shields, was met by the Corporation, and, 
after the interchange of cordial greetings, a complimentary address 
was read by Alderman Potts and was warmly responded to. After 
a short delay the procession then left the landing place with count- 
less flags and banners, and several bands of music playing national 
airs. On arriving at the appointed place, the following inscription, 
placed beneath the bed of the foundation stone and engraven on 
brass, was read by Mr. Coweii : 

" The Foundation of this South Pier was laid on the 15th day of June, 
1854, by Joseph. Cowen, esq., Chairman of the Tyne Improvement Commis- 
sioners, with the following Commissioners: Ralph Dodds, esq., Mayor of 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Matthew Popplewell, esq., Mayor of Tynemouth, 
John Robinson, esq., Mayor of South Shields, Commander William Purdo, 
R.N,, John Carr, William Armstrong, William Liuskill, John Clay, esqrs. 
and aldermen, and Thomas Ridley, John Ormston, John Rayne, Christian 
Allhusen, John Cuthbert Potts, Joseph Straker, John Walker Lamb, Wm. 
Rutherford Hunter, and James C. Stevenson, esqrs." 

JOHN CLAYTON, Clerk to the Commissioners. 

WM, ALEX. BROOKS, Engineer to the Commissioners. 


The ceremony of laying the stone having been gone through, on 
the part of Mr. Covven, the Rev. W. Bradshaw, Incumbent of 
St. Stephens, South Shields, offered up an appropriate prayer, and 
the foundation was declared to be laid, amidst loud and continued 
applause. The chairman of the commissioners and James Mather, 
esq., then briefly addressed the assembly on the auspicious cere- 
mony of the day, and the proceedings on the south side of the Tyne 
were announced to be terminated. The scene at North Shields 
was even more imposing than on the other side of the river. On 
the procession arriving at Tynemouth, and while moving down the 
banks towards the Haven, one of the most pleasing, animating, and 
splendid spectacles ever beheld broke in upon the sight. Upon the 
rocks and around the slopes of the Haven were seen thousands of 
people, while floating in the bay and in the offing were several 
gaily decorated steamers, besides four life-boats, and numerous 
other craft of all dimensions, and these commingling together, 
aided by the fineness of the day, made up a scene worthy of the 
talents of any artist. The ceremony of the south side having been 
repeated, Mr. Cowen then made a short speech to which the Mayor 
of Tynemouth replied, the band struck up "God Save the Queen," 
and a salute was fired by the garrison. The Mayor of Tynemouth 
gave a sumptuous entertainment at the George Tavern, to the 
commissioners and to the corporations of the neighbouring towns. 
Owing to the neglect and indifference of the Admiralty, the plans 
of the undertaking were delayed until September 1855, when Mr. 
B. Lawton's offer to construct the north pier of 14,000 feet, and the 
south pier of 28,000 feet, for 166,000, was accepted, and the 
works were commenced. The original intention was for the north 
pier to be 21,000 and the south 42,000 feet. 

1854 (June 20). The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
Northumberland Plate was won by Lieut- Col. Bigge's Grapeshot 
(Ashmall), beating Kingston, Hunca Munca, and thirteen others. 
The Gold Cup was won by Mr, Morris's Kingston (Marston), 
beating Goldfinch and Goorkah. 

July 21. This evening, about ten o'clock, an alarming fire 
broke out in a large bark-mill, occupied by Messrs. Priest-man 
and Son, tanners, situated in Low Friar-street, Newcastle, a 
building, the destruction of which has been once before recorded 
in this volume (see page \1.) After that fire the mill had been 
constructed on a "larger scale, with store rooms above, and the 
machinery was driven by steam. The lower storey of the mill 
was filled with shumac, and the building also contained seventy tons 
of bark and a large quantity of leather, these, together with the 
machinery, were entirely consumed. Considerable damage was 
also done to the neighbouring property, and the loss was estimated 
at 3,000. 

August 19. A young man, named Andrew Cochrane, was 
drowned this morning, near Whitley, in attempting to save a 
servant girl, named Armstrong, who had been carried out by the 


ebb current whilst bathing. The poor girl was also lost in conse- 
quence of no assistance being at hand. Mr. Cochrane belonged 
to Newcastle. 

1854 (September 12). The foundation-stone of the Northuraber 
land Dock at Hayhole, near Howdon, on the Tyne, was laid by 
Joseph Co wen, esq., Chairman of the River Commissioners. As 
a proof of the magnitude of the project the dock is capable of 
containing 600 ships of various tonnage, and covers an extent 
of nearly 73 acres, and cost nearly 200,000. The stonework 
forming the bottom of the dock is Cornish granite, some of the 
blocks weighing nearly 10 tons. The dock is from the designs 
of Mr. Brooks, Engineer to the River Commissioners. 

October 6. The most terrible and appalling catastrophe 
which ever occurred in the towns of Newcastle and Gateshead 
took place at an early hour this morning, under the following 
circumstances : Shortly before one o'clock a fire was discovered 
in the worsted manufactory of Messrs. J. Wilson and Sons, fronting 
the river, and situate in Hillgate, Gateshead, a building which had 
only recently arisen upon the site of a fire which took place on the 
9th of October, 1850. The manufactory, which was of consider- 
able height, was stored with wool in various stages of manufacture, 
and contained, also, a quantity of oil, &c., and the inflammability 
of these articles offered such food to the flames that in less than 
an hour the building was entirely gutted from roof to cellar. On 
the east side of Messrs. Wilson's manufactory stood a warehouse, 
about a 100 yards in length by 18 in breadth, originally built for 
storing goods by Messrs. Bertram and Spencer, and had been used 
as a free warehouse for the storage of merchandise. At the time of 
the fire it was stored with 200 tons of iron, 800 tons of lead, 170 
tons of manganese, 130 tons of nitrate of soda, 3000 tons of brim- 
stone, 400 tons of guano, 10 tons of alum, 5 tons of arsenic, 30 
tons of copperas, li tons of naptha, and 240 tons of salt. The 
intense heat from the manufactory placed this building in great 
jeopardy, and streams of vivid blue flame proceeding from the 
sulphur soon poured from the doors upon the various flats, and 
afforded a most extraordinary spectacle. The most strenuous 
efforts were made by the firemen, as well as by the soldiers of the 
26th Regiment, but perfectly in vain, and by three o'clock the 
whole range was one immense sheet of fire. The alarm had by 
this time spread in every direction, and had attracted a large 
number of the inhabitants of both towns to the scene. The Quay- 
side, Newcastle, affording a full view of the burning property, was 
deeply set with spectators, but not the slighest apprehension was 
felt of any outbreak in Newcastle, and the crowd was fortunately 
much smaller than it would otherwise have been ; but in Gates - 
head, where the dwellings of many thousand persons were in close 
proximity to the flames, and the alarm was naturally intense, every 
spot was thickly studded with spectators. At about ten minutes 
past three a slight report, like that of a rifle, was heard, but it 
occasioned no movement, and was thought merely accidental ; but 


about three minutes after it was followed by an awful explosion, 
which rocked with a fearful sound the whole town to its founda- 
tions, and which no description can give the slighestidea of. The 
burning piles of brimstone, with bricks, stones, metal, and articles 
of every description were thrown up with the force of a volcanic 
eruption, only to fall with corresponding momentum upon the 
dense masses of the people assembled, and upon all the surrounding 
habitations. The crowd upon the Quayside and Sandhill was 
mown down as if by a discharge of artillery, many being rendered 
insensible from the shock, others temporarily suffocated by the 
vapour, and many more wounded by the flying debris. An awful 
calm succeeded for a few seconds, and then, as most of the sufferers 
regained their consciousness, an appalling wail of distress arose in 
all directions, but many were far removed from all earthly suffering, 
and their voices were never heard again. The fearful extent of 
the calamity was now perceptible. The ignited missiles had pene- 
trated into three houses upon the Quayside, standing exactly 
opposite the fire, to such a prodigious extent, that they were in 
flames in every storey in less than five minutes. The ships lying 
in the river were nearly blown out of the water by the concussion, 
and their shrouds were set on fire by the projectiles. Many scores 
of houses were entirely unroofed, the descending rubbish doing 
fearful injury. The shop fronts and windows upon the Quayside, 
the Sandhill, the Side, and all the neighbouring streets, were almost 
universally blown out, and the gas lights, for a square mile around 
the spot, were extinguished in a moment, adding a weird and 
horrible confusion to the scene. The streets rapidly filled with the 
entire population of the lower parts of Newcastle, hundreds of 
them in their night clothes, and seriously injured. The blood- 
begrimed countenances of many, and the shrieks, wailing, and 
lamentatations to be heard on every side, commingling with the 
voices of others devoutly calling upon the Lord to have mercy 
upon them, made up a scene which has been seldom paralleled. 
As the uninjured regained their presence of mind every endeavour 
was made to render relief to the wounded. The latter were at 
first laid on the pavement round the Fish Market, in the most 
melancholy confusion, and afterwards removed to the Infirmary, 
and never were the resources of that great charity so severely 
tried. Fifty-eight persons, seriously injured, were immediately 
admitted into the hospital, fifteen of whom died there, and sixty- 
three others were relieved as " out patients." Such were the first 
effects of the calamity in Newcastle, but the worst remains to be 
told. The long and narrow street in Gateshead, called Hillgate, 
where the fire broke out, was filled with people at the time of the 
explosion, the firemen, the police, and various assistants being 
within a dozen yards of the burning pile. A number of influential 
inhabitants were also present, rendering every assistance in their 
power, and amongst them were : Mr. Robert Pattinson, tanner, 
a member of the Newcastle Council; Mr, Charles Bertram, a 
magistrate of Gateshead ; Mr. Henry Harrison, basket-maker ; 


Mr. William Davidson, son of Mr. Davidson, miller (whose exten- 
sive premises were within a few feet of the fire, and were after- 
wards consumed) ; Mr. Alex. Dobson, son of John Dobson, esq., 
architect ; Mr. Thomas Sharp, a gentleman of independent means ; 
and several others. In this narrow gorge the burning rubbish fell 
in tons together, burying the gentlemen we have named, together 
with Ensign Paynter who was at the head of a company of the 
2Gth Regiment in Church Walk and many others several feet 
deep. Of course their death under such circumstances must have 
been instantaneous. Others, again, were suffocated by the deadly 
fumes, while a third section perished by the falling of the surrounding 
houses which were thrown into one mass of ruins. Whether the 
loss of life was accurately obtained at the time is yet a matter of 
opinion, but the total number known to have perished was no less 
than fifty-three. Of course the explosion greatly increased the 
extent of the fire in Gateshead. The vinegar works of Messrs. 
Singers and Co., which adjoined the warehouse, soon fell a prey 
to the flames ; the f ellmongery of Messrs. Wilson was also burnt 
down, and several private dwellings shared the same fate. But 
on the Newcastle side of the river the destruction was more awful 
and alarming still. It has already been said that the fire broke 
out in three houses opposite the warehouse in Gateshead. The 
shops on the ground floors of these premises were occupied by 
Messrs. Smith and Co., drapers ; Messrs. Ormston and Smith, 
stationers ; and Mr. Harbottle, draper, and the stock in all was 
valuable. Besides these premises the shop of Messrs. Spencer 
and Son, drapers, and the offices above (one of which was 
occupied by Mr. Bertram whose death has just been recorded) 
were almost entirely reduced to ruins, by stones projected from 
the site of the explosion. The property immediately behind 
Messrs Ormston and Smith's, was the Dun Cow in the occupation 
of Mr. Teasdale, and the spirits which it contained immediately 
gave increased energy to the flames which consumed the whole 
fabric in less than half-an-hour. The fire then gradually pro- 
gressed both north and east, making its way in the first direction 
up Grinding-chare, principally through old warehouses, toward 
the Butcher-bank ; and in the second, along the range of buildings 
on the Quayside, The shops of Mr. Atkin, bookseller, Mr. 
Turnbull, watchmaker, and the Grey Horse Inn, succeeded 
Messrs. Smith and Co., and the flames again ran north, up Blue 
Anchor- chare and Pallister's-chare towards the Butcher- bank, 
and again extended along the Quayside. The shops of Mr. 
Snowdon, grocer, and the Sun Inn, intervened between Pallister's- 
chare and Peppercorn-chare, where the flames made another run 
to the north of Cohdn's-chare and Hornsby's-chare. By six 
o'clock the fire had spread along the Quayside for nearly one 
hundred and twenty yards, while the extent of the fire towards 
the Butcher-bank was rather greater, it having travelled up the 
whole length of Blue Anchor-chare, Peppercorn-chare, Pallister's- 
chare, and Hornsby's-chare, and made a breach into the Butcher- 


bank by three separate Louses, all of which were entirely 
consumed. All this time a third fire was raging. At the time of 
the explosion a large blazing beam of timber was thrown high 
over the Butcher-bank and fell into the workshops of Mr. J. 
Edgar, situate behind his premises in Pilgrim-street. Here the 
flames worked their way uncontrolled, destroying a front shop 
occupied by Mrs. Ann Shield, grocer, on one side, and a large 
number of tenemented dwellings and workshops adjoining the 
George's-stairs on the other. By this time the sun had risen, and 
never, perhaps, had his rays exhibited Newcastle in so awful a 
state. The fire was still extending widely amongst the property 
near the Quayside, whilst the flames in Grateshead were quite 
unsubdued. Owing to the fire-engines having been almost entirely 
buried in the ruins and the serious injuries that had been sus- 
tained by the firemen, there were no adequate means available for 
checking the progress of the flames. The engine of the North- 
Eastern Railway Company was fortunately uninjured and proved 
of great service on the Quayside. Communications were sent by 
telegraph to all the neighbouring towns for assistance in the 
emergency. The floating engines at Shields and Sunderland, 
three land engines from the latter town, and one each from 
Hexham, Durham, Morpeth, and Berwick, were sent by the 
authorities of these places by the most expeditious means avail- 
able, and the supply of water from the company's pipes continued 
most abundant to the last, and was exceedingly effective even 
when engines were not obtainable. On the 7th the fire was got 
under on both sides of the river, and immediate steps were taken 
to disinter the bodies of those who were known to be killed by the 
calamity. Amongst those the bodies of Mr. Pattinson, Mr. 
Hamilton, hairdresser, Ensign Paynter, Corporal Stepherison, 
Mr. Willis, a skinner, Mr. Duke, a bricklayer, and his son, a child 
named Conway, and McKenny, a labourer, were rescued. On the 
8th the body of Mr. Mosely, a smith, was found much disfigured ; 
and about noon a charred and crumbling mass was discovered, 
without the least resemblance to humanity. A piece of the coat 
and a bunch of keys, lying close by, led to its identification 
as that of the son of John Dobson, esq. The next frag- 
ments found were those of Mr. Thomas Sharp, a gentleman, 
shockingly mangled, but were identified by his gold watch 
and two dog whistles. Several other bodies were discovered 
in a similar condition. Mr. Davidson was identified by a signet 
ring, Mr. Harrison by a cigar case, one of the firemen by the nozzle 
of the engine pipe, and many others by similar articles known to 
have belonged to them. In Church- walk were found the family 
of a man, named Hart, consisting of himself, his wife, bis son, and 
his niece. No portion of Mr. Bertram's body could be found, but 
a key, which he was known to have, and his snuff box were dis- 
covered among the ruins. Inquests were soon after opened on the 
bodies, and a great amount of evidence was tendered as to the 
cause of the explosion, the general opinion being, that nothing but 

A.D. 1854."] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 295 

a vast store of gunpowder could have been the cause of the catas- 
trophe. Mr. Hugh Lee Pattinson offered an explanation of the 
disaster, which he attributed to water, whilst Professor Taylor 
suggested the probability of its origin to gas. Mr. Pattinson be- 
lieved that the heat of the building had inflamed the sulphur, and, 
gradually, the whole mass of nitrate of soda and sulphur in the 
lower vaults had melted together, producing intense combustion 
and a heat such as could not well be conceived, and his assumption 
was, that whilst in that state, a body of water had found its way 
to the burning mass, and, by the immense expansive power of 
steam at such a heat, had caused the explosion. In his opinion 
328 gallons of water falling in this way, would have as powerful 
an effect as eight tons of gunpowder. Professor Taylor sup- 
posed, that the sulphur having taken fire had inflamed the 
nitrate of soda, which, he said, would set free half-a-million 
cubic feet of gas, and the inability of the gas to escape fast 
enough through the door of the vault, had, he believed, 
caused the explosion. Both chemists, from various analysis of 
the ruins, were equally confident that no gunpowder had been 
present. The juries, after very lengthened sittings, finally came 
to open verdicts, expressing, however, their belief that the explo- 
sion had not arisen from gunpowder. The loss by this terrible fire 
was never accurately ascertained, but it was pretty generally 
estimated at half-a-million. In Newcastle, commencing at the 
east end of the property destroyed upon the Quayside, the follow- 
ing is a list of the principal sufferers : Mr. G. Wilson, eating- 
house keeper; Mr. C.M. Mo wbray, ironmonger ; Free Porters' Office 
greatly damaged ; Messrs. A. Parker and Co. ; Mr. G. Buckham, 
sailmaker ; Mr. James Wilkin, broker ; Messrs. B. Liddell and 
Co.; Mr. M. Plues, merchant ; Mr. George Gray, broker; Messrs. 
Featherstone and Elder, ship chandlers ; Mr. S. Bailey, watch 
maker : Mr. J. Potts, broker ; Mr. D. W. Hay, baker ; Messrs. 
Carr and Barras, brokers ; Mrs, Swallow, Rising Sun ; Mr. L. 
Reed, chemist; Mr. G. Brown, butcher; Mr. W. Wilson, cooper; 
Mr. W. Berkley, malster ; Mr. Mark Thompson, ship chandler ; 
Mr. W. J. Van Haansbergen, merchant ; Mr. J. Orrnston, whar- 
finger ; Messrs. J. Carr and Co., coke manufacturers ; Messrs. 
C. Lotinga and Co., brokers ; Mr. David Don, spirit merchant ; 
Messrs. Longridge and Co., merchants ; Messrs. John Rogerson 
and Co., brokers ; Messrs. Joseph Cowen and Co., fire brick 
manufacturers ; Mr. Charles West, broker ; Mr. George Wraith, 
broker ; Mr. Henry F. Morrison, sailmaker ; Mr. T. Guthrie, 
sailmaker ; Mr. T. F. Davidson, Sun Inn : Mr. John Snowden, 
grocer ; Messrs. S. M. Frost and Co., cartmen ; Messrs. T. L. 
Colbeck and Co. ; Mr. Thomas Dixon, Prussian Arms ; Mr. A. 
Nay lor, hair dresser ; Mr. W. Atkin, bookseller ; Mr. Hans Peter 
Mork, merchant ; Netherton Coal Company ; Mr. S. D. Gething ; 
Mr. G. P. Birkinshaw ; Mr. G. Robertson, sailmaker ; Messrs. 
Leidemann and Co., brokers ; Messrs. R. Thiedemann and Co., 
brokers ; Mr. James Harding, Grey Horse Inn ; Mr. Fair- 


weather, watch maker ; Messrs. Mackey and Smith, drapers ; 
Broomhill Colliery Office ; Mr. Fisher, fruiterer; Messrs. Ormston 
and Smith ; Mr. James Scott, broker ; Messrs. Alexander and 
Wood, provision merchants ; Messrs. Charlton and Angus, com- 
mission agents ; Mr. Wm. Teasdale, Dun Cow ; Mr. Batey, 
Golden Anchor ; Mr. Jules Averauw, broker ; Mr. John Harbottle, 
draper. Butcher-bank Mr. Isaac Temple, paper merchant, 
house and shop completely destroyed ; Mr. Piper's furniture shop 
and workshops behind shared the same fate ; Mrs. Bailes, grocer, 
shop entirely consumed. Pilgrim- street Mrs. Shield, grocer, house 
and shop burnt to the ground ; Mr. J. Edgar's workshops entirely 
destroyed ; a great number of small tenemented houses and work- 
shops burnt down. In Gateshead the premises of different kinds 
totally destroyed were as follows : Mr. Bulcraig's engineering 
works ; Messrs. J. T. Carr and Co.'s timber yard, with tenemented 
houses behind ; Mr. Wilson's worsted manufactory ; Mr. Bertram's 
warehouse ; Mr. Singers' vinegar manufactory ; Mr. Davidson's 
extensive flour mill ; Mr. M. Dunn's beer shop ; a number of 
tenemented houses and small shops in Hillgate; Mr. Wilson's 
fellmongery ; Mr. Martin Dunn's timber yard. Church- walk was 
almost entirely demolished, with many other houses it is impossible 
to enumerate. The public sympathy for the numerous poor 
families, who were rendered destitute by this terrible catastrophe, 
was displayed in the most marked manner throughout the kingdom. 
Upwards of 11,000 were subscribed for their relief. No less than 
eight hundred families applied for assistance from the funds, and, 
altogether 4,640 were paid for the loss of furniture. In February, 
1857, the committee stated that they had expended 6,533, and 
reserved 3,044 for widows and orphans, and the remainder of the 
funds was distributed as follows : Newcastle Infirmary, 1,190 ; 
Gateshead Dispensary, 314; Ragged Schools, 195 ; other 
charities, &c., 50. 

1854 (October 13). Her Majesty and the Royal Family passed 
through Newcastle, on their return from Scotland. The Queen 
alighted at the Central Station for luncheon, and her majesty spoke 
a few words to the Mayor of Gateshead, expressing her great sorrow 
at the late calamity in which she was much interested. The Mayor 
of Newcastle afterwards received a letter from Colonel Phipps, 
requesting that her majesty's name might be added to the subscrip- 
tion for the sufferers for 100. 

October 22. Much excitement was produced this morning 
among the residents at the river side, at Elswick, by the bodies of 
two young and decently attired females being found drowned 
opposite the rolling quay of Messrs. Parker and Co. Information 
was immediately given to the police, who ascertained that they were 
the daughters of Ezekiel Robinson, Duke-street, Scotswood-road, 
Newcastle. Their names were Ellen Robinson, aged 15, and 
Isabella Robinson, aged 13. On the 23rd an inquest was held by 
Mr. Stoker, and on the jury viewing the bodies a more distressing 
and touching spectacle had seldom being witnessed. They were 


the exact semblance of each other, and to all appearance had been 
both robust and healthy. It appeared that from some slight family 
quarrel Ellen had left the house about midnight, followed by her 
younger sister, and it was supposed that the elder girl, who was of 
a passionate temper, had plunged into the river, and that the 
youngest, in attempting to save her sister, perished with her. 

1854 (November 9j. The annual election of the chief cor- 
porate officers for the boroughs of Northumberland and Durham 
took place with the following result: Newcastle Isaac Lothian 
Bell, esq., mayor ; E. N. Grace, esq., sheriff. Gateshead 
Richard W. Hodgson, esq. Tynemouth John Walker Mason, esq. 
South Shields Alexander Toshach, esq. Sunderland Anthony 
John Moore, esq. Durham Mark Storey, esq. Hartlepool 
Thomas Robson, esq. Stockton Robert Craggs, esq. Morpeth 
Thomas Jobling, esq. Berwick Robert Ramsay, esq., mayor ; 
Thomas Bogue, esq., sheriff. 

November 23. Early this morning a frightful shipwreck took 
place behind the south pier at Sunderland. It appeared that the 
Mary Graham, the property of Mr. Thompson, ship builder, left the 
harbour coal laden on the previous day, but on crossing the bar, 
from the swell, the vessel struck the ground. After proceeding a 
short distance it was found she was leaky, and instead of making 
for the harbour anchored off the bar. Unfortunately, during the 
night, the wind blew a hurricane from the south-east, but the 
vessel rode out the storm gallantly until the morning, when she 
suddenly broke from her moorings, came ashore, and went to pieces 
in a few minutes. Of all the crew 24 in number only one man 
was saved. A number of vessels were also wrecked near Hartle- 
pool, and many lives were lost. 

November 25. Died, at Leazes-terrace, Newcastle, suddenly, 
aged 60, Mr. John Gibson, glass- stainer and painter, a member of 
the Town Council, and late sheriff of the town. From an early 
age Mr. Gibson ardently devoted himself to the study and pro- 
motion of the fine arts, of which he was an enthusiastic admirer, 
and was himself an artist of high and varied talent ; whilst his 
thorough knowledge of the style and works of the old masters, added 
to his fine taste and sound judgment, caused his opinions to be 
most highly appreciated, and constantly appealed to, by both con- 
noisseurs and artists ; and of its correctness the extensive and 
valuable gallery he had collected affords the best evidence and 
confirmation. His works in glass adorn many churches throughout 
the kingdom. 

November 25. Died, in the Shieldfield, Newcastle, aged 81, 
Mr. Richard Thompson. The deceased left in his will 1,000 of 
his estate in trust to the Corporation of Newcastle, to be disposed 
of as follows : That loans of 50 shall be granted for three years 
at 4 per cent, interest " to inhabitants of the borough of Newcastle 
who may be desirous of commencing business therein." If there 
be not a sufficient number of such applicants to absorb the trust 
monies, then the surplus may be lent to persons who are already 

p 1 


in business. 10 per annum of the fund he bequeathed to the 
encouragement of oratory : 5 to be given twice in every year to 
those members of the Mechanics' Institute who shall make the 
best speeches in English, without book or written paper, which 
shall not occupy more than half-an-hour in the delivery, upon any 
subject that may be selected by the trustees except religion and the 
government of the country : the best to receive 2 10s., the second 
1 10s., the third 1. The winner of a first prize never to compete 
a second time. The annual amount of the prizes, when the fund 
exceeds 1,500, is to be increased to 30, which shall be awarded 
in sums of 10 thrice a-year : the prizes being, respectively, 5, 
3, and 2 ; and when the charity extends to beyond 1,530, the 
surplus may be applied to the improvements of public walks, or 
any other object for the general good of the inhabitants. Mr. 
Thompson also left a bequest of 10 to the Printers' Society, 
besides numerous others of a private character. 

1854 (December). This month, there was found within the station 
of Borcovicus, on the Roman Wall, a large and perfect altar, 
dedicated to the god " Silvanus Cocidius." thus combining a Roman 
and a British divinity, by Quintus Florius, Maternus Prefect of 
the first cohort of the Tungri. The following is a copy of this 
singular inscription : DEO SILVANO Cocidio, Q V., Florius 
Maternus, Preaef. Coh. I. Tung., V. S. L. M. 

1855 (January \). An election of a member for the borough of 
Sunderland, rendered necessary by the appointment of Mr. Digby 
Seymour as Recorder of Newcastle, took place this day. Mr. 
Joshua Wilson and Mr. Thomas Thompson proposed and seconded 
Mr. Seymour, and Aid. Allison and Mr. J. T. Alcock nominated 
Henry Fenwick, esq. At the close of the poll Mr. Fenwick was 
956, and Mr. Seymour, 646. 

January 1. The discovery of ironstone in Cleveland has given 
a great impetus to the manufacture of iron in the neighbourhood. 
A company was formed at Darlington, under the name of the 
" South Durham Iron Company," some time ago, who purchased 
of R. H. Allan, esq., about fifty acres of land (at a cost of 
10,000) adjacent to the town, upon part of which two blast 
furnaces have been erected, as well as a forge, and large waggon- 
building shops. One of the furnaces was successfully " tapped," 
and afterwards a large party sat down to an elegant entertainment 
at the King's Head Inn. Henry Pease, esq., presided, and several 
interesting addresses were delivered. 

January 18. The new wing of the Newcastle Infirmary 
was inaugurated by the Duke of Northumberland and a brilliant 
party. This was the third extension of the building of this noble 
charity, it being upwards of a century since the original part of 
the Infirmary was built namely, in the year 1750, and the first 
wing was added in 1800. The new wing, which contains 147 beds, 
is fitted up with every modern improvement, and the total cost of 
the various alterations and additions to the institution was upwards 
of 10,000. His grace expressed himself much pleased with the 


arrangements, and made a second donation of 500. The sub- 
scriptions amounted to 7,500. The Hon. H. T. Liddell, Sir John 
Fife, Mr. M. Bell, Mr. Commissioner Ellison, and other gentlemen 
afterwards addressed the assemblage. 

1855 (January 22). Vice- Admiral Bowles, Captain R. Fitzroy, 
R.N., Lieutenant-General Sir John Bell, K.C.B., R. B. Armstrong, 
Q.C., Recorder of Manchester, J. K. Brunei, C.E., the Royal Com- 
missioners appointed to enquire into the state of the river Tyne, 
arrived in Newcastle and proceeded to the Central Station Hotel. 
On the 24th, Mr. Webster, Q.C., who had been retained by five of 
the River Commissioners at Shields (the promoters of the inquiryj, 
entered into a series of charges against the proceedings of the Tyne 
Commissioners generally, and produced the evidence of Mr. 
Popplewell, Mr. Lamb, Mr. Straker, and others, in support of his 
case. Mr. Brooks, the engineer of the river, Mr. T. J. Taylor, 
Mr. Ure, the engineer of the Clyde, Mr. John Clayton, and a 
number of River Commissioners were heard on the other side, and 
on the 31st, the Recorder of Newcastle summed up the case of the 
majority of the local board. Further evidence was afterwards 
taken in London, and the proceedings finally closed on the 10th of 
March. In their report, dated the 19th May, the Commissioners 
approved of the general policy of the Tyne Conservators dissenting 
from all the views of the promoters of the inquiry, and expressed a 
hope " that those local jealousies and animosities which had hitherto 
prevailed at the board would be for ever buried in oblivion." 

January 28. A splendid silver tea and coffee service and a 
centre piece with five branches were presented to J. Gibson, esq., 
land agent to the Marchioness of Londonderry, bearing the 
following inscription : " Presented to J. Gibson, esq , by the 
tenantry of the Most Honourable the Marchioness of Lon- 
donderry, and other friends, as an expression of their esteem for 
his personal character and their high appreciation of the many 
agricultural improvements introduced by him during the manage- 
ment of her ladyship's estates in the county of Durham. The 
plate was supplied from the establishment of Mr. John Mitchell, 
jeweller, HigU-street, Bishopwearmouth. 

February 10. -The remains of Lord .Frederic Fitzclarence, 
who died in India, on the 30th of October whilst acting as Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the forces in Bombay, were interred at Ford, 
Northumberland. The body was followed to the grave by 
deceased's widow and only daughter, who had accompanied it 
from India, the Earl of Glasgow, Viscount Falkland, Lord 
Adolphus Fitzclarence, the tenantry of the Etal estates, and a great 
number of the residents in the neighbourhood, by all classes of 
whom his lordship was highly respected. The deceased was the 
third son of William IV., by Mrs. Jordan. 

February 28. About two o'clock this morning a fire broke 
out in the extensive corn mill in Gallowgate, Newcastle, 
known commonly as " Anderson's Mill," but which, a few weeks 
before, had come into the occupancy of Mr. Hume. There was a 


deficiency of water until an hour after the origin of the fire, as, 
from the quantity of snow upon the ground, the mains could not 
be discovered, but the supply became afterwards so abundant that, 
through the strenuous exertions of parties, the progress of the 
flames was most effectually checked. At seven o'clock the fire 
was entirely subdued, but the premises were left in a complete 
wreck, the whole of the stock being destroyed, machinery injured, 
and nothing but the bare, walls left standing, 

1855 (February 2S). As Mr. John Lockey, of Hauxley, was on 
Amble Links, he shot a crow while flying, which had a young hare 
in its bill. Although the crow was shot quite dead, yet the hare 
was uninjured, and was brought up by Mr. Lockey as a pet. The 
extreme severity of the weather was supposed to be the cause of 
the crow seizing such a large animal. 

February 28. At the Northumberland Assizes, before Baron 
Parke, the case of Thomas Stote Manby v. Thomas Wood Craster 
and Calverly Bewicke, esqrs., came on for trial. Mr. Warren, 
Q.C., stated the case of the plaintiff, and, owing to the circum- 
stances presenting many features in resemblance to those in the 
learned counsel's celebrated novel of "Ten Thousand a Year," 
much interest was excited in court. The plaintiff was a man in 
humble life, and the action was virtually to recover extensive 
estates in the parishes of Long Benton and Wallsend, Northum- 
berland, belonging to the defendants, on the ground that such 
estates had been obtained, in 1757, by Sir Robert Bewicke and Mr. 
John Craster, without a shadow of a right, on the death of the 
plaintiff's ancestor, Mrs. Dorothy Windsor. Mr. Warren entered 
into the case with great eloquence and ability, but he was stopped 
by the judge, who stated that, he considered the statute of limita- 
tions barred all title on the part of the plaintiff. The following 
paragraph appeared in the " Newcastle Courant," August 18th, 
1781: "The great cause between Mr. Stote Manby, Calverly 
Bewicke, and Daniel Craster, esqrs., was finally ended this day by 
a compromise, Mr. Stote Manby accepting 1,500 for costs and an 
annuity of 300 in perpetuity." The following letter was ad- 
dressed to the Editors of the " Newcastle Courant": 

" Gentlemen, 

"In the case of Manby versus Craster, I observe that the opening 
of the plaintiff's counsel tended to show that the compromise in 
1781, was the act of the attorney then employed for the claimant. 
I happen to be a son of that attorney, and, being in my 83rd year, 
and a retired solicitor, it may not be irrelevant to state my know- 
ledge of the circumstances, viz., that the compromise was the work 
of the counsel in the cause, and was effected behind the back of 
the attorney, after the verdict in the town of Newcastle and before 
the cause had come on for the county of Northumberland. My 
father protested against it on all occasions, and to his dying day. 
He had several years litigation against the above powerful defend- 
ants at his sole expense, his outlay for an individual being very 


large. The success of the claim would have been a great victory 
for my father, but counsel on his remonstrance asserted their right 
to act for the client. The 1,500 were for costs, not as the judge 
put it, as a bribe. It was not a large sum for such an expensive 
suit, for there were other trials prior to 1781. The whole matter 
is fresh in my memory as to the disappointment which my father 
sustained, and it is rather hard that his name should now be sub- 
ject to an unjust imputation. It is absurd to lay the blame on the 
attorney, for how could he settle without his counsel's consent. 

" Thirsk, March 5, 1855." 

The case was afterwards carried into the Court of Chancery, on 
the ground that the defendants had obtained possession of the 
estates by fraudulent means, but, after a protracted hearing, Vice- 
Chancellor Sir W. P. Wood, on the 23rd of April, 1857, decided 
that nothing had been elicited to support the allegations of the 
plaintiff, and his "bill" was dismissed, with costs. 

1855 (March 7). Died, at Ravensworth Castle, aged 80, the 
Right Honourable Thomas Henry Liddell, Baron Ravensworth. 
The deceased nobleman was the eldest son of Sir George Henry 
Liddell, bart., by the daughter of Thomas Steele, esq., of Hamps- 
net, Sussex. He was born in 1775, and married in 1796 the 
daughter of John Simpson, esq., of Bradley, Durham, who died 
in 1845, leaving a numerous issue of whom the Honourable 
Henry Thomas Liddell was the eldest son and succeeded to the 
title and estates. It appears from authentic records that the first 
baronet was an active supporter of Charles I, and was raised to 
that dignity for his defence of Newcastle in 1642. The fourth 
baronet was created a peer, but, dying without male issue, the title 
became extinct, but was revived in his grandson the late Lord 
Ravensworth. The deceased was a tory in politics, and of the 
Pitt school, and in his day, though he took no prominent part in 
public affairs, yet he moved in the highest and most distinguished 
circles, and was honourably noticed at court by the successive 
sovereigns who reigned during his life. In private he was firm 
in his attachments, while his suavity of manners, upright deport- 
ment, and amiable disposition, endeared him to all who had the 
honour of his acquaintance. His attention to the claims of the 
poor was constant, his charities were unostentatious and large, 
and his memory will long be revered by numerous parties who 
were the recipients of his bounty. The funeral took place at 
Lamesley, on the 16th, in a very private manner, and was 
attended by all his children then in England, by his sons-in-law 
the Earl of Hardwicke, Viscount Barrington, and Sir Hedworth 
Williamson ; and by Earl Vane, the Earl of Mulgrave, John 
Bowes, esq., and N. Wood, esq. (who officiated as pall bearers.) 
His lordship's numerous tenantry, as well as a number of persons 
from Newcastle and Gateshead, also followed the remains to 
the grave. 


1855 (March 24,). Birth, at Washington, the wife of I. L. Bell, 
esq., Mayor of Newcastle, of a son. In commemoration of this 
felicitous event Mrs. Bell was presented in April, 1856, by the 
members of the council with a massive silver salver and claret jug, 
manufactured by Messrs. Reid and Sons. 

March 30. Sunderland was this night visited by one of the 
most destructive fires which has occurred for many years. The 
building was stored with tar, hemp, and other inflammable materials, 
which caused the flames to rage with great fury. Four houses in 
Numbers'-garth and Garden-street were also set on fire, and, so 
rapid was the progress of devastation, that it was deemed advisable 
to send a telegraphic message to Newcastle for assistance, but the 
conflagration had been checked before the arrival of the engines, 
principally by the pulling down of a house in Garden-street. The 
damage was estimated at 15,000. 

April 23. Died, at North Shields, aged 78, Mr. William 
Richmond, ship owner. The deceased was born at Stockton and 
commenced life as a cabin boy, but gradually succeeded in accu- 
mulating a small competence and in acquiring no inconsiderable 
store of learning. In literature, his compositions, generally of a 
controversial nature, were animated and nervous, and his speeches 
were as pungent as his writings, believing in no engineer except 
nature ; he viewed conservancy boards, piers, docks, and jetties, 
and all other " improvements " connected with the Tyne, 
with an inconceivable bitterness and hatred, and, although a 
member of the New Corporation of Tynemouth, he detested the 
institution with an intensity as ludicrous as it was at times vexa- 
tious. He was, however, generally esteemed, and his death was 
very widely regretted in the neighbourhood. 

May 3. Married, at St. Leonards, Thomas William Riddell, 
esq., eldest son, of Thomas Riddell, esq., of Felton Park, North- 
umberland, to Lady Henrietta Plunkett, daughter of the Earl of 

May 7. A most melancholy occurrence took place at Bywell 
this afternoon, which occasioned the death of the Rev. H. P. 
Dwarris. It appeared that Mr. Dwarris and his brother had 
taken a small skiff, their own property, in order to cross the river 
at a short distance above the Fishing Lock, where the water is 
very deep. They succeeded on reaching the opposite shore, but, 
on attempting to laud, the skiff was upset, and both gentlemen 
were thrown into the water, the elder brother got upon the bank 
but the other was drowned. The unfortunate gentleman was 
33 years of age. 

May 14. Workmen commenced the removal of the old 
property at the Head of the Side and Castle Garth, Newcastle, 
for the purpose of forming an improved approach to the High 
Level Bridge. The " Black Gate" of the Castle was preserved 
from demolition by order of the Council. 

May 29. A very disgraceful disturbance, of a riotous 
character, occurred at South Shields, on the evening of the races, 


between a party of Irishmen and the police, when one of the 
former was killed, and several on both sides seriously injured. In 
consequence of this affray the races at South Shields were 
suppressed by the magistrates. 

185^5 (June 26). The Newcastle Races commenced this day. 
The Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. Mather's Whitelock (J. 
Walters), beating Vindex, Neoptolemus, and twelve others. The 
Gold Cup was won by Mr. R, Harrison's King of Trumps 
(Basham), beating Mr. K. Gray's Dalkeith. 


June 27. Died, at Great Burdon, near Darlington, Jane, 
wife of Mr. Joseph Snaith Wooler, a gentleman of independent 
means, and who had been educated for the medical profession. 
Soon after her death, suspicion was excited that Mrs. Wooler had 
been poisoned, and a coroner's inquest was subsequently held, at 
which immense excitement was occasioned by a statement of Dr. 
Hazlewood and Mr. Jackson, the deceased's physician and surgeon, 
that they had long been under the belief that Mrs. Wooler was 
suffering from repeated small doses of arsenic. The jury returned 
an open verdict, but Mr. Wooler was apprehended on the charge 


of murder, and, after lengthened examinations before the magis- 
trates, was committed for trial. December 7th, Wooler was tried 
at Durham, before Baron Martin, Mr. James leading the prosecu- 
tion and Mr. Serjeant Wilkins the defence. The trial closed on 
Monday, the 10th, the evidence clearly establishing the fact that 
the deceased had died from the effects of arsenic, but being 
unsatisfactory as to the means by which the poison had been 
administered, the jury acquitted the prisoner. The trial excited 
great interest throughout the kingdom, and cost the county of 
Durham 525. 

1855 (July \). Died, at Blaydon, aged 105, Mrs. Ann Allison. 

July 3. The Bradley Hall Estate, situate near Wolsingham, 
in the county of Durham, containing upwards of 1,000 acres, 
was bought by John Straker, esq., of Tynemouth, for 19,000. 
For many generations the Bradley Hall Estate belonged to the 
lordly family of Eure, of Witton Castle. From the Eures the 
estate passed to the great northern family of Tempest, and having 
become forfeited to the crown, in 1569, by the rebellion of Robert 
Tempest and Michael, his son, who had joined in the insurrection 
of the Earls of Westmorland and Northumberland, it was granted 
in fee by Queen Elizabeth, in the way of recompense, to Sir 
George Bowes, of Streatlam, for his services in putting down that 
rebellion, and had been in the possession of the Bowes family ever 

July 21 The shop of Mr. David McDowell, chemist and 
druggist, Bell-street, North Shields, was discovered to be on fire 
this morning, just after the owner had left it in a private manner. 
The flames were soon extinguished, and, as from the appearance 
of the premises it seemed almost certain that the fire had not been 
accidental, Mr. McDowell was apprehended, charged with com- 
mitting the act. He was tried at the ensuing assizes, before Mr. 
Justice Crowder, was convicted of the offence, and sentenced to 
fifteen years' transportation. 

July^ 25. Died, at Whitfield Hall, Northumberland, aged 
75, William Ord, esq. The family of Ord, of which the deceased 
was the last male descendant, had been connected for upwards of 
three centuries with Newcastle. Mr. Ord having been in Parlia- 
ment as the representative first of Morpeth and then of Newcastle 
for fifty years, he had been associated, as a public man, with the 
most important legislative changes which this country has under- 
gone in modern times. Through life he was the uniform supporter 
of Whig principles and measures, and, without being a frequent 
speaker in Parliament, he was nearly always present, and voted 
on all divisions of consequence. The Abolition of Slavery, Repeal 
of the Corporations and Tests Act, Catholic Emancipation, Partial 
Abolition of Capital Punishment, Parliamentary Reform, Municipal 
Corporation Reform, Abolition of the Corn Laws, &c., with many 
other measures of a similar character and tendency, were all sup- 
ported by Mr. Ord, He lived on terms of the utmost intimacy 
and friendship with the great leaders of the Liberal party, by 


whom he was highly respected, as he was, indeed, by all who 
knew him, for his strictly upright and honourable conduct, both in 
private and parliamentary life. On Mr. Ord's retirement from, 
the representation of Newcastle, and from Parliament, at the 
general election of 1852, his services were acknowledged by a 
public dinner, which was given to him, at which the mayor presided. 
Besides many of the principal inhabitants, there were present 
several members of Parliament, Earl Grey, the Earl of Carlisle, 
the Earl of Durham, Sir Walter Trevelyan, bart., &c., &c., when 
the speeches delivered showed the high estimation in which they 
held the venerable individual who was retiring from a long and 
useful public life. Mr. Ord was the eldest son of William Ord, 
esq., of Fenham, Newminster Abbey, and Whitfield, by Eleanor, 
daughter of Charles Brandling, esq. He was born January 2nd, 
1781. In 1802 he was elected M.P. for Morpeth, and sat for that 
borough until the passing of the Reform Bill. In 1835 Mr. Ord 
was elected M.P. for Newcastle, and continued one of its 
representatives until his retirement from public life in 1852. 
Mr. Ord had an only son born 1803, Mr. W. H. Ord, who was 
several years M.P. for Newport, Isle of Wight, and one of the 
Lords of the Treasury. He died in 1839 leaving no issue. The 
family property descended to the Rev. J. A. Blackett, who 
married, in 1842, a niece of Mr. Ord's, and who soon after 
assumed his name. 

1855 (July 28). During a violent thunderstorm the farm house 
occupied by Mr. Anthony Sowerby, at Stresholmes, near Dar- 
lington, the property of R. H. Allan, esq., was considerably 
damaged by the lightning. About half-past four o'clock in the 
afternoon, the electric fluid struck the chimney at the west end of 
the building, and passed through three rooms and the pantry. Some 
idea may be formed of the violence of the shock from the shattered 
state of the rooms, the windows all broken, panels of the doors 
driven out, and the chairs, &c., upset. A servant who was in the 
pantry was thrown to the ground, but happily uninjured, and soon 
recovered. A number of bottles and other articles were displaced 
and broken. The family, most fortunately, were at the time at 
the other end of the house and received no injury. 

August 29. The foundation-stone of the New Town Hall, now 
erected in St. Nicholas-square, Newcastle, was laid with great 
ceremony by the Mayor (Mr. Bell), in the presence of the members 
of the Corporation of the town, the chief magistrates of Gateshead 
and South Shields, and above ten thousand of the principal 
inhabitants of Newcastle and its environs. An imposing pro- 
cession was formed at the Guildhall, which walked to the site of 
the proposed buildings, where Dr. Headland commenced the 
proceedings by a brief address to the mayor on the objects and 
advantages of the proposed erection, and concluded by presenting 
his worship with a silver trowel to be used in laying the stone. 
A brass plate bearing an inscription commemorative of the pro- 
ceedings, a scroll with the names of the building committee, a 




TA.D. 1855. 

copy of the " Newcastle Chronicle" of August 24th, and various 
coins, were then deposited in a prepared cavity by the Mayor, 
assisted by Mr. J. Johnston the architect, and the stone was 
laid with the usual formalities. The Choral Society performed 
Handel's Hallelujah Chorus during the ceremony with fine effect. 
The Mayor, Mr. Headlam, M.P., the Hon. H. G. Liddell, M.P., 
and Mr. Ingham, M.P., briefly addressed the assemblage in con- 
gratulatory terms on the auspicious commencement of the works. 
In the evening the Mayor gave a grand entertainment in the 
Assembly Rooms, Lord Ravensworth, the Mayors of Gateshead, 
Sunderland, Tynemouth, and South Shields, the Rev. E. C. Ogle, 
the above mentioned members of parliament, and a numerous and 
influential company being present. 


1855 (September 18). Died, at his residence, Claypath, Durham, 
aged 59, James F. W. Johnston, esq., F.R.S., lecturer on chemistry 
and mineralogy in Durham University. The deceased had long 
been celebrated for his literary and scientific attainments, and his 
works on agricultural chemistry are highly esteemed. His last 
production " The Chemistry of Common Life" had been finished 
but a short time before his death, and its pleasing style caused it 
to be exceedingly popular. 

September 27. Died, in Newcastle, aged 68, John Adamson, 
esq. Mr. Adamson was a gentleman of distinguished literary 

* A.D. 1855.] REMARKABLE EVENTS. 307 

attainments, and an author of considerable taste and learning. 
His " Life of Camoens, the Poet," is the best extant, and evinces 
much research, and an extensive acquaintance with the Portuguese 
language (see page 244 of this volume) and the best writers of that 
country, both ancient and modern. His antiquarian attainments 
are well known, as he filled the office of Secretary to the Antiquarian 
Society for many years. Besides practising in his profession as a 
solicitor, he was for twenty-two years Secretary of the Carlisle 
Kailway Company. Mr. Adamson was highly respected in the 
district, and his sudden death was widely regretted. 

October 6. The friends of Alderman David Haggle having had 
his portrait taken, presented it to the Corporation of Gateshead, 
to give enduring impression to the grateful sense entertained by the 
public of his conduct as chief-magistrate during the great calamity 
of which this was the first anniversary. In addition to the portrait 
an elegant silver epergne was presented to Mrs. Haggle, bearing a 
suitable inscription. The picture (ten feet high) was from the easel 
of Mr. Shotton, of North Shields, on whom the execution of the 
painting reflects the greatest credit. The epergne (supplied from the 
establishment of Messrs. Reid and Sons) stands on a plate glass 
mirror, let into a plateau of silver ; and on the three sides of the 
base, respectively, are engraved the arms of Mr. Haggie and motto 
(Semper Paratus). the arms of the Corporation and motto (Caput 
Inter Nubila Condit), and the following inscription : " Presented 
to Mrs. David Haggie, October 6, 1855, simultaneously with the 
presentation of her husband's portrait to the Corporation of Gates- 
head, in commemoration of his distinguished services as chief- 
magistrate of the borough on the occasion of the great explosion 
and fires in Hillgate, which occurred on the 6th October, 1854, 
towards the close of his mayoralty." 

October 8. A terrible boiler explosion took place at Walker 
Iron Works, near Newcastle, the property of Messrs. Losh, 
Wilson, and Bell, by which five men and two boys were killed, 
and several others injured. The body of the boiler, at the time it 
burst, unfurled like a sail, was blown upwards, carrying with it 
two roofings of the sheds, and blowing down two furnaces, with 
their chimneys, and scattering the molten metal and red hot bricks 
around, while one end of it was hurled into the midst of the works, 
and the other about 200 yards over the hill top, into the lumber- 
yard. The following is a list of the sufferers: John James, 
Patrick Donnoley, Joshua Jenkins, Abraham Dixon, Martin 
Broderick, Thomas Griffith, and John Porter. 

October 17. The Queen and Royal Family passed through 
Northumberland and Durham, on their return to the south. The 
royal train stopped a few minutes at Newcastle, and was received 
by a great number of the inhabitants with the most enthusiastic 
loyalty. At Darlington, the High Sheriff (F. Mewburn, esq.) 
and H. Pease, esq., were introduced to her majesty by Sir George 
Grey, and presented an address to Prince Albert from the com- 
mittee of the Polytechnic Exhibition, to which his royal highness 


had sent the model of her majesty's yacht, the Fairy. The royal 
party then proceeded on their journey. 

1855 (October 2 !> The inhabitants of the quiet and retired village 
of Matfen, adjoining the beautiful seat of Sir Edward Blackett, 
bart., were thrown into considerable excitement and alarm by the 
discovery of a horrible murder having been perpetrated in a 
cottage a short distance off, and which, for atrocity and cold- 
heartedness, had at least no parallel in the county of Northumber- 
land since the brutal murder of " Joe the Quilter," at Homer's-lane, 
in the parish of Warden. An old female, aged 66, named 
Dorothy Bewicke, resided in one of a row of five cottages, at a 
place called Waterloo. The scene of this diabolical tragedy 
presented one of the most melancholy and miserable features of 
human wretchedness on record. The entire range of cottages were 
in a most dilapidated condition, and in that occupied by Dorothy 
light, air, and rain had free access in several places, while the 
fowls of the field roosted nightly under the roof. Not a window 
contained a whole set of panes, and many an old clout and other 
pliable article formed a substitute for glass, besides keeping the 
air out. The old woman had gained the reputation of being 
wealthy the row of cottages being her property and it was, no 
doubt, the expectation of finding money which led to her fate. 
On the neighbours entering her house this morning they found the 
body of the murdered woman lying upon the floor of her bedroom, 
upstairs. Her hands were pinioned across her breast with a leather 
strap, and her legs were tied together with a halter. She had 
evidently been strangled, the marks of fingers upon her throat 
being very distinct. Every portion of the bedroom and its contents 
had been ransacked, and even the bed -tick of the deceased had 
been cut open, in search of money, the murderers having obscured 
the front windows with sacks and other articles in order to elude 
the observation of travellers during their search. The announce- 
ment of the murder created the deepest horror throughout the 
county ; and suspicion having settled upon a party of besom 
makers, occupying one of the cottages, James Conroy, Michael 
Allan, John Simm, Isabella Allan (mother of Michael Allan), and 
Jane and Ellen Allan (his sisters), were apprehended by the police, 
and committed for trial on the charge of wilful murder. February 
29th, 1856, they were brought up at the Northumberland Assizes, 
before Mr. Justice Willes, when Simm was admitted a witness for 
the Crown, without, however, adding materially to the strongly 
suspicious facts adduced by others. After two days trial the 
prisoners were acquitted. 

October 23. The full length portrait, painted by Grant, K.A., of 
Ealph Ward Jackson, esq., as the " Founder of West Hartlepool," 
was presented to the West Hartlepool Improvement Commissioners, 
in trust for the town, by public subscription, and placed in the 
Athenaeum, as a tribute of esteem for his character and genius. 
The afternoon was observed as a holiday in the town, and a dinner 
took place in the evening, to which 170 gentlemen sat down. 


1855 (October 29). It was discovered that Mr. Robert Martinson, 
junior cashier of the Northumberland and Durham District 
Bank, Newcastle, had suddenly absconded with the sum of 
4,264, the property of his employers. The delinquent was 
captured by Detective James Cosser, of the Newcastle force, on 
the 17th of November, at Southampton, when about to sail for 
America, and 2,473 of the money was recovered. He was tried 
for the offence, before Baron Martin, on the 4th of December, and 
transported for fourteen years. 

November 1. A horrible murder was perpetrated this day, 
about a mile and a half from the village of Burnopfield, in the 
county of Durham. Coming so immediately after the commission 
of a similar crime at Matfen it naturally created much excitement 
in the neighbourhood. The victim was a young man, named 
Robert Stirling, 26 years of age, and an assistant with Mr. Watson, 
a surgeon in extensive practice at Burnopfield. Mr. Stirling left 
his employer's house, in the forenoon, to visit some patients at 
Thornley and the Spen, and was last seen alive about ten o'clock 
when he was returning home. From that time all traces of him 
were lost, and, although search was made in every direction, he 
was not found until the 6th, when his body was discovered by his 
father (who had come from Kirkintolloch, in Scotland) in Smaile's 
Wood, a plantation in the immediate vicinity of Burnopfield. It 
was evident that he had been shot whilst walking along the lane, 
and his body had afterwards been dragged through the hedge, into 
the wood, where his throat had been cut and his head terribly 
shattered, apparently with the butt end of a gun. His watch, a 
ring which he wore, and his purse containing a sum of money, 
had been removed, and his body concealed in the brushwood. As 
the deceased had only been in the neighbourhood for ten days it 
was surmised that he had not been the victim originally marked 
by his murderers, and the day of his death having been that fixed 
for John Bowes, esq.'s rent day, it was supposed ho had been 
mistaken for one of the tenants on his way to pay his rent. 
March 6, 1856, John Cain and Richard Rayne were arraigned at 
Durham Assizes, before Baron Martin, for the crime, but the 
evidence not being complete they were remanded to the Summer 
Assizes. On the 25th and 26th July, accordingly, the prisoners 
were tried before Mr. Justice Willes, Mr. Overend conducting the 
prosecution, and Mr. Monk and Mr. Davison being employed for 
the defence. After a protracted trial, in which a variety of con- 
flicting circumstantial evidence was adduced on behalf of the pro- 
secution, a verdict of not guilty was returned. 

November 8. The Rev. Clement Moody, Vicar of New- 
castle, was presented with an elegant silver candelabrum, value 
150 guineas, and a purse containing 380, by a number of the 
inhabitants. The plate bore the following inscription : " To the 
Reverend Clement Moody, Vicar of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, together 
with a purse of 380 sovereigns, in testimony of the admiration and 
esteem of the subscribers, for his very energetic and efficient 


services during the short period he has held the office of vicar. 
Presented by I. L. Bell, esq., Mayor, November the 8th, Anno 
Domini, 1855." The candelabrum was manufactured by Mr. 
Sewell, silversmith, &c., Newcastle. 

1855 (November^). The annual election of chief magistrates for 
the boroughs of Northumberland and Durham took place with the 
following result: Newcastle Ralph Park Phillipson, esq., mayor ; 
Anthony Nichol, esq., sheriff. Gateshead James Smith, esq. 
Tynemouth William Linskill, esq. South Shields Thomas 
Stainton, esq. Sunderland Anthony John Moore, esq. Dur- 
ham John Henry Forster, esq. Morpeth William Trotter, 
esq., M.D. Berwick Robert Ramsay, esq., mayor ; Robert 
Clay, esq., sheriff. Hartlepool Thomas itobson, esq. Stockton' 
Joseph Byers, esq. 

December 22. This morning, about four o'clock, as P. 0. 
Ellison was on duty near the Central Station, Newcastle, he was 
alarmed by a female voice shouting " Murder." Finding the 
sounds of the voice issuing from the back premises of the Railway 
Arcade public house, Neville-street, kept by a Mr. Beardsmore. 
He instantly knocked at the door, which was opened by Mr. 
Beardsmore, and, proceeding along the passage, he found Mrs. 
Beardsmore lying on the pavement, apparently lifeless, and bleeding 
profusely from severe wounds on the head. She was put to bed, 
when she partially rallied, and charged her husband with having 
thrust her out of one of the upstairs windows. She died a few 
days after of the injuries she had received. Both husband and 
wife were of very dissipated habits, and it afterwards transpired 
that they had had a serious quarrel during the night, at the termi- 
nation of which a crash was heard of the woman falling into the 
passage. Beardsmore was tried at the ensuing Spring Assizes, 
before Baron Martin, when he was sentenced to six months' 
imprisonment for an assault. 

1856 (January 16J. A public dinner was held at the Bridge 
of Aln Inn, Whittingham, in honour of Captain J. R. Carr, 
son of Ralph Carr, esq., of Hedgley, Northumberland, to con- 
gratulate the gallant captain on his safe return from the Crimea, 
and also to present him with a sword, as a token of their respect 
and esteem, for which 150 guineas had been subscribed by his 
friends and neighbours. Captain Carr landed in the Crimea with 
the first expedition, and was present at the different engagements 
with his regiment. 

January 16. Mr. Joseph Hodgson, carver, Sunderland, 
received the silver medal of the Royal National Lifeboat Institu- 
tion, in testimony of his extraordinary exertions in saving life, 
extending over a period of twelve years. He had personally 
rescued ten persons from drowning, and assisted, in life and other 
boats, in saving seventeen others. He had always declined any 
pecuniary consideration for his services, but was very solicitous to 
possess the medal of the old and valuable institution, which was 
voted to him with applause. 

A.D. 1856.] REMAHKA.BLE EVENTS. 311 

1856 (February 5). The election of a member of Parliament for 
Newcastle, in the room of J. B. Blackett, esq., who had resigned 
on account of ill health, took place in the Guildhall, before the 
Sheriff (Mr. A. Nichol). Mr. Aid. Hodgson and Mr. I. L. Bell 
proposed and seconded George Ridley, esq., and Mr. Watson and 
Mr. Thomas nominated Mr. Richard Hart, a Chartist. The latter, 
however, retired, and Mr. Ridley was declared duly elected. 

February 5. A handsome service of plate, upwards of a 
hundred guineas in value, consisting of tea and coffee pots, cream 
ewer, sugar basin, toast rack, and three dozen spoons and forks, 
accompanied by a purse of gold, was presented to John Walker 
Mayson, esq., ex-mayor of Tynemouth, by the inhabitants of that 
borough, as a memorial of respect for his character, and of admira- 
tion for the industry, independent and distinguished abilities with 
which he discharged his official duties while chief magistrate. The 
presentation was made at the Albion Hotel by Dr. Dodd, the 
Mayor (Capt. Linskill) presiding. 

February 7. A violent gale of wind occurred this morning, 
and did great injury to property, particularly amongst shipping. 
At North and South Shields a number of vessels were bl'own from 
their moorings and dashed together, the damage being estimated at 
more than 15,000. In Newcastle a number of chimneys were 
blown down, and some narrow escapes occurred. One of the stone 
vases on the highest turret of All Saints' Church was torn off, and 
did considerable damage in its fall ; and a chimney, 70 feet high, 
belonging to the brewery of Mr. Wilkinson, Westgate, was also 
overthrown, by which the neighbouring property suffered to a great 
extent. At North Shields the Wesleyan School-room was unroofed; 
and two houses at Elder's-quay and Milburn-place were blown 
down. At South Shields several waggons, filled with coals, standing 
upon the Stanhope Coal-drops, were hurled over into a vessel, the 
ship receiving so much damage that she sank immediately. At 
Tynemouth three houses were wholly unroofed, and at Monkton 
a windmill was entirely destroyed. In the country a great number 
of stacks were blown down and trees uprooted. At Alnwick Mr. 
Robertson, auctioneer, and his family had a narrow escape, the 
chimney of his house having been thrown upon the roof, and the 
whole mass falling on and around his bed. Scarcely a house in 
Alnwick escaped damage from the gale which raged there with 
almost unequalled fury. 

February 9. Major Brandling, son of the late R. W. 
Brandling, esq , of Low Gosforth, and who had greatly distin- 
guished himself in the Crimea, was presented with a valuable 
sword by the inhabitants of Newcastle. The presentation was 
made in the Guildhall by Captain Woods, and a splendid banquet 
was given to the gallant major, by about one hundred gentlemen 
of the town and neighbourhood, in the Queen's Head Inn, at which 
the Mayor presided. 

March. The estate of Bradley, in the parish of Ryton, 
county of Durham, was purchased from Lord Ravensworth by 


John Walker, esq., of Seaton Burn, for 40,000. Shortly after 
1626 the Bradley property came into the possession of Sir Francis 
Anderson, knight, of Jesmond, a devoted Loyalist ; and on the 
ruin of the royal cause he became an object of peculiar persecution 
to the successful party. He was fined 1,200, sequestered, 
imprisoned, and stripped of his title of knighthood, which fell 
within the list of proscribed honours conferred after the 4th of 
January, 1641, when Charles separated himself from his Parlia- 
ment. He was sheriff of Newcastle in 1641, mayor in 1662 and 
1675, andM.P. for the town in 1660-61 and 1678-9, in which 
last year he died. His son and successor, Henry Anderson, esq., 
married Dorcas Matfen in 1681. Their daughter, Jane, married 
John Simpson, of Newcastle, arid in her right of Bradley. John 
Simpson, their second son, married Anne, daughter of Richard 
Clutterbuck, esq., of Warkworth. He was succeeded by his only 
son, John Simpson, esq., of Bradley, who married, July 12, 1768, 
Anne, daughter of Thomas, Earl of Strathmore, and left three 
daughters Anne, who died unmarried ; Maria Susanna, the late 
Lady Ravensworth : and Francis Eleanor, who married John 
Dean Pawl, esq., a banker in London. 

1856 (March \). The Marchioness of Londonderry entertained 
upwards of 3,000 pitmen and workpeople, employed on her lady- 
ship's collieries and estates, to a substantial dinner in the large 
works of Mr. Hopper, at Chilton, near Fence Houses, Durham. 
The provision made consisted of eight fat bullocks, fifteen sheep, a 
ton of plum-pudding, a ton and a half of bread, 100 bushels of 
potatoes, and fifty barrels of ale. The chair was taken by Earl 
Vane, the Marchioness of Londonderry being seated on his right, 
and the Countess Vane on his left. On the platform were Mr. 
Mowbray, M.P., Mr. Hugh Taylor, chairman of the coal trade, 
Mr. Commissioner Ellison, Mr. Baker Baker, the Mayors of 
Durham and Sunderland, Mr. G. Elliott, &c. After dinner the 
meeting was addressed by the Marchioness in an eloquent and im- 
pressive manner, which was replied to by Mr. James Cuthbertson, 
one of the workmen, and the proceedings passed off most agree- 
ably to all present. 

March 6. Married, in London, Wentworth Blackett Beau- 
mont, esq., M.P., of By well, Northumberland, to the Lady 
Margaret Anne De Burgh, fourth daughter of the Marquis of 
Clanricarde. By daybreak several guns at Hexham, Bywell, 
Allendale, and other places on the vast estates of the hon. gentle- 
man in Northumberland and Durham, ushered in the festivities of 
the day, and these were followed by the display of banners, the 
ringing of bells, and the parading of bands playing festive music. 
At Hexham 100, in Weardale 200, and smaller amounts in 
other places, were distributed amongst the poor, and a grand ball 
and supper to the principal inhabitants of Newcastle and Hexham 
and the neighbouring districts took place at Bywell Hall. 

March 8. About midnight a fire broke out in a large shop, 
in High-street, Sunderland, one side of which was occupied by 


Mr. John Thompson, hatter, and the other by Mr. Russell, draper. 
The fire burnt with such rapidity that Mr. Russell and his family 
had the utmost difficulty in escaping from the rooms above, and 
scarcely any portion of the stock in the premises could be saved. 
A man named John Mills, whilst endeavouring to remove some 
articles from Mr, Russell's shop, was burnt to death. Mr. Russell'3 
loss was very heavy, and great public sympathy was manifested 
towards him, a considerable sum being raised by subscription for 
his benefit. 

1856 (March 12;. Died, at Belsay, in his 100th year, Mr. 
Anthony Scott. 

March 24. A skiff race for 100 came off this afternoon, 
between the celebrated Harry Clasper and Matthew Taylor, the 
distance being from the High Lavel to Scots wood Bridge. Clasper 
went in an easy winner by 150 yards. 

April 25. -Died, at Villeneuve, France, in his 35th year, 
John Fenvvick Burgoyne Blackett, esq., of Wylam Hall, Northum- 
berland, one of the representatives of Newcastle in Parliament 
from 1852 until February, 1856. The deceased gained high 
honours at the University of Oxford, and his rare excellence as a 
public speaker, unremitting attention to business, and pleasing 
manners, made him a general favourite with all classes, and caused 
his premature death to be very widely regretted. 

April 30. Died, in the Workhouse, Newcastle, aged 85, 
Mr. Samuel Wall Nicholson, some years lessee of the Theatre 
Royal in that town. 

May 2. Peace with Russia was proclaimed this day in 
Newcastle, by the Mayor, accompanied by the Magistrates and 
Corporation, surrounded by military pomp, and in presence of 
several hundreds of the inhabitants. After the proclamation had 
been read on the Sandhill, the procession moved up the Side, 
Dean-street, Grey-street, &c., to the White Cross, Newgate-street, 
when it was again read, and the same formality was gone through 
a third time at St. Nicholas'-square, where the assemblage 
separated. The under-sheriffs of Northumberland and Durham 
read the proclamation in a similar manner in the principal towns 
of their bailiwicks. 

May 9. A person of gentlemanly exterior, who had obtained 
lodgings at the Turk's Head Inn, Newcastle, this night robbed in 
a skilful and most audacious manner two travellers staying over 
night in the same house. Neither of the gentlemen robbed were 
disturbed. The doors of the two rooms entered were found locked 
inside, and no marks of violence were to be seen on them, nor had 
the locks been injured. The case resembled that reported a short 
time previous, in which two Americans had carried on a system 
of plunder at hotels in Manchester and elsewhere, and where it 
was shown that by means of certain instruments, which were there 
discovered, a gentleman's bedroom could be entered, even though 
locked with the key inside, and plundered without much disturb- 
ance. One of the instruments was in the form of a pair of pliers, 



the two ends of which, when pressed together, formed a barrel 
well adapted to lay hold of the end of a key, so that, supposing a 
door to be locked inside, the person having those pliers would be 
able to turn the key from the outside and again relock it on 
leaving the room, without the necessity of removing the key. 

1856 (May 10). Whilst some workmen were removing the 
extensive premises at the Head of the Side, Newcastle, previously 
occupied for more than a century by Mr. Dickinson, tobacconist, 
in order to make way for the High Level Bridge approaches, they 
discovered the remains of an ancient building of some pretensions, 
which had originally stood upon the site. A doorway and two 
windows, probably of about the fourteenth century, were laid bare, 
as well as the original oaken roof of a large apartment. The 
building had been one of very great extent, and had apparently 
undergone extensive alterations after the Reformation, as portions 
of windows in the Tudor style were distinguishable. No record 
of the original purposes of the building could be discovered, but it 
is very probable they were of a monastic character. About the 
same time and place, two very large antlers were found, about 
sixteen feet below the surface. 

May 13. A grand bazaar of useful arid ornamental work, 
was opened in the Music Hall and Assembly Rooms, of this town, 
by a number of ladies connected with the Wesley an body, for the 
purpose of raising funds to erect and establish schools upon the 
site at present occupied by the Orphan House, in Northumberland- 
street, which is remarkable as the first Wesleyan Chapel reared in 
this town, by, it is stated, Wesley himself, and which schools will 
be open to children of all denominations. Seldom has so richly 
furnished a bazaar been opened in this town, and the tact of the 
ladies in effecting sales was equal to the liberality and industry of 
the previous preparation. The sum realized being upwards of 

May 24. The foreman and workmen of Messrs. Robert 
Stephenson and Co., and a number of friends, presented Mr, L. 
Kirkup with a handsome silver coffee arid tea service and other 
articles of silver plate, as a token of their high respect for his 
character. The friends of George Murray, esq., surgeon, Bed- 
lington, presented him with a splendid gold lever watch and silver 
snuff box, as a mark of their appreciation of his valuable services 
as surgeon for a lengthened period. 

May 27. A woman, living at Comical-corner, South Shields, 
was cleaning a haddock for dinner, when she found a pair of gold 
ear-rings in the intestines of the fish. 

May. During this month, whilst some workmen were engaged 
in draining a field at Adderstone, Northumberland, they came upon 
a vessel, containing a quantity of Roman remains, consisting of 
twenty-eight coins, a brass scale beam, with weights and scales, 
&c. The coins were of various emperors, from Hadrian to Aurelian 


1856 (June 3). The public opening of another dock at West 
Hartlepool formed the occasion of a general and festive demonstra- 
tion at that enterprising and rapidly rising port. Intelligence of 
the event having been widely circulated, special trains poured in 
many a thousand from Newcastle, Shields, Sunderland, Durham, 
Stockton, Darlington, Manchester, Leeds, &c. Flags and streamers 
waved from every house, and in long lines across the streets, the 
ships in the harbour were gaily decorated, and an universal air of 
animation pervaded the locality. At three o'clock the new screw- 
steamer Ward Jackson, with the directors and their friends, the 
screw steamer Zingarie, the steamer Pilot, with the Corporation 
of the Trinity House, Newcastle, the screw steamers Emanuel and 
Luna, and four merchant vessels sailed majestically into the new 
dock, amidst the firing of cannon and every demonstration of 
rejoicing. At the termination of the ceremony the directors enter- 
tained about 800 of their friends to dinner, Mr. Ralph Ward Jack- 
son in the chair, having on his right Mr. Alderman Leeman, Mr. 
Alderman Meek, Mr. W. L. Wharton, Mr. C. Bramwell, Admiral 
Cator, Mr. W. Garnett, Mr. S. Fletcher, Mayor of Leeds, Mr. 
Maclea, Mr. Ritson, Mr. Copperthwaite, Mr. W. Fowler, Mr. 
Mackenzie, Captain Robertson, R.N., Mr. E. Baines, Rev. Charles 
Cator, Mr. J. R. Wilson, Mr. A. C. Sheriff, Mr. R. W. Hunter, 
Captain O'Brien, Secretary of the North- Eastern Railway ; and 
on the left Mr. Pulleine, Mr. J. Seymour, Mr. Dodsworth, Mr. N. 
Plews, Mr. W. C. Ward Jackson, Mr. E. Backhouse, Mr. Meynell, 
Mr. J. W. Pease, Mr. F. Mewburn, Mr. J. Wilson, Rev. Mr. 
Ridley, Major White, Mr. W. Ord, Mr. C. Allhusen, &c. The 
new dock is ten acres in area and is called the Swainson Dock. 
The total space occupied at that time by the harbour docks, quays, 
&c., was 145 acres, and the whole of the erections had been, 
produced in little more than nine years, the population of the 
township having arisen, during the same period, from four hundred 
to upwards of eight thousand. 

June 18. Prince Napoleon, cousin of the Emperor of the 
French, paid a visit to Newcastle this day. The prince arrived 
off the mouth of the Tyne, in his yacht the " Reine Hortense," at 
an early hour, and, after landing with his suite at Tynemouth, and 
visiting the ruins of the Abbey, they repaired to the railway 
station, and from thence were conveyed to Newcastle. After 
breakfasting at the Queen's Head Inn, the distinguished visitors 
set off for Seghill Colliery, where the whole process of mining 
operations was explained to them by Mr. John Carr, jun., and 
Mr. Fryer, the viewer. His imperial highness wishing to become 
practically acquainted with the nature of a miner's work took up 
a pick which he wielded vigorously for some time, but after a 
good trial laid it down, and, looking mournfully at his blistered 
hands, remarked that he could not work like that for six shillings 
a day if he were starving. The party afterwards visited Hartley 
and Seaton Delaval and then returned to Tynemouth, where the 
embarkation of His Imperial Highness took place, in the afternoon, 
under a royal salute from the guns of the Castle. 


1856 (June 24J. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. 
The Northumberland Plate was won by Lord Zetland's Zeta (Chal- 
loner), beating Bolton, King of Scotland, and seven others. The 
Gold Cup was won by Mr, R. Wilson's The Heir of Lynne (Bates), 
beating Mr. Jackson's Announcement (Bullock). 

June 25. A lamentable accident occurred at Bywell, this 
afternoon, by which a young man, named Joseph Richardson, was 
unfortunately drowned. It appeared that the deceased, who was 
an apprentice with Mr. Potts, chemist, Newcastle, had joined a 
special trip by train to the beautiful village of Bywell. The 
weather being exceedingly warm, the deceased and a few compa- 
nions agreed to bathe, and went into the Tyne at the spot where the 
Rev. H. P. Dwarris was drowned. The deceased suddenly got 
out of his depths, when one of his companions seized him by the 
hair of the head, but not being able to retain his hold, Richardson 
sank and was drowned. He was the eldest son of Mr. Joseph 
Richardson, of Matfen, of steady and industrious habits, and of an 
amiable disposition. His untimely end was greatly lamented. 

June 30. Mr, Brough, the auctioneer, put up for sale the 
building sites to form the west side of the street of approach to the 
High Level Bridge, Newcastle, and also those on both sides of 
the Quayside-street, No. 1, to be called Headlam-street, and which 
is to extend from the Side to the Quay. The latter street is that 
portion of the Quay which was devastated by the fire. The High 
Level sites, numbered from 1 to 7, comprising 1067 square yards 
of ground, were first put up in one lot, at a gross sum, and 2,000 
was offered, but the reserved bid was 4,500. The sites were then 
offered in separate lots. The first consisted of 155 square yards, 
with the privilege of taking the two sites adjoining at the same 
price, and 50s. per square yard was offered, but the reserved bid 
was 70s. For site 4, with the two adjoining, 45s. was offered, but 
the reserve was 70s. Lot 7 was the site of the old Duke of 
Cumberland public house, and possessed a license. The area was 
180 square yards, and 45s. per yard was offered, but the reserved 
bid was 5. The Quayside sites were then put up, and for the 
sites No. 1 to 7, comprising 1141 square yards, the sum of 4,200 
was offered, but the reserved bid being 10,000 there was no sale. 

July 2. Died, at the Chesters, Northumberland, Nathaniel, 
eldest son of the late Nathaniel Clayton, esq., of that place and 
Newcastle. Mr. Clayton was at Harrow with Byron and Peel, 
and the noble poet speaking of his schoolfellows in his journal 
says of him " Clayton was another school monster of learning and 
talent and hope, but what has become of him I do not know. He 
was certainly a genius." 

July 6. This evening, as a pleasure party consisting of 
fourteen persons, were returning to Newcastle in a small boat from 
Dunston, their frail bark was capsized, exactly opposite the Shot 
Tower, and the whole party were thrown into the river. An old 
scullerman, named Cooper, who plies across the river at this place, 
pulled with desperate energy to the spot, and succeeded in saving 

A.D. 1856.] REMARKiBLE EVENTS. 317 

seven of them, but the remaining seven were drowned, their 
names were Abraham Cohen, tide waiter ; Mary Ann Cohen, aged 
16, his eldest daughter ; Samuel Lemon, hawker ; Robert Eltring- 
ham, sawyer ; Isabella Deniston Eltringharn, his daughter, aged 20; 
Henry Hanby, tide waiter ; John Thomas Edward Rice Oakley, 
tide waiter. Mrs. Cohen and two children ; Mrs. Lemon and 
child ; Henry Humphrey ; and Henry Beaumont were saved. A 
subscription was raised to reward Cooper for his exertions in 
rescuing the survivors, and the Corporation presented him with an 
elegant silver medal. 

1856 (July 6). An accident of a similar description occurred at 
sea, off Ryhope, near the mouth of the Wear, to a pleasure boat 
containing eight young men belonging to Sunderland. Four of 
them, fortunately, clung to the mast of the boat and were saved, 
the others, whose names were Davison, Hutchinson, Ramsay, and 
Smurthvvaite, were drowned. 

July 12. -An outrageous and deadly attack with gun, bludgeon, 
and scythe, Was made by a numerous body of Ribbonmen, near 
the Felling, upon a small party of Orangemen, quietly marching 
in procession in celebration of the victory of the Boyne, in which 
William III., Prince of Orange, overcame the forces of James II. 
and secured the protestant succession in his own person to the 
English throne. A number of the Orangemen were much injured, 
and several of the Ribbonmen were afterwards apprehended and 
imprisoned for the offence. 

August 6. Died, in London, aged 55, the Right Hon. Isabella 
Horatio Lady Ravensworth. Her ladyship was the eldest 
daughter of the late Lord George Seymour, and grand-daughter of 
Francis, first Marquis of Hertford, and was married in 1820 to the 
Hon. H. T. Liddell, now Lord Ravensworth, by whom her lady- 
ship had fourteen children, all of whom, except three, survived her. 
August 17. Died, in London, aged 58, James Hann, esq., 
a well known mathematician. The deceased was a native of 
Tyneside, his father being superintendent of the pumping engine 
at Hebburn Colliery, and James, at an early age, performed the 
duties of stoker. Many of the best years of his life were occupied 
in pursuits of so laborious character as to leave him but trifling 
leisure for his favourite studies. When in his 21st year, Hann 
was engaged as fireman in the X L, a small passenger steamboat, 
plying between Newcastle and Shields, and it was whilst working 
in this manner, that he was first seen by Goldsworthy Gurney 
reading the works of Emmerson, the mathematician. The follow- 
ing anecdote is illustrative of the difficulty he had in obtaining 
books treating of his favourite subjects : " One evening, in return- 
ing homeward from his daily toil, he saw a soiled copy of " Dr. 
Gregory's Mathematics for Practical Men" exposed for sale on the 
Quayside. The price was a mere trifle, but Hann had not a penny 
in his pocket. He turned away in despair, not knowing how to 
possess himself of the treasure. His wife was in the fields when 
he arrived at home, his little daughter performing the duties of 


housekeeper. He enquired of the child if her mother had paid the 
rent, and* on being answered in the negative, he asked where she 
had put it. The daughter directed him to a tea cup in the cup- 
board. He took the money and set off at once, as it was near the 
hour his wife was expected home, and he, probably, feared some 
remonstrance. Meanwhile, Mrs. Hann returned, and the first 
news from her daughter was, that her father had taken the money. 
His wife immediately set out in pursuit, and overtook her husband 
before he arrived at the book shop. She remonstrated, as he had 
anticipated, but he quieted her by saying, that if he could get that 
book he would be able to make all their fortunes. His wife at 
last consented, and Hann often declared that the happiest moment 
of his life was when he became the owner of that work." He was 
at length persuaded to open a school at Friars' Goose, near New- 
castle, this he did not continue long. Through the influence of 
his friend Mr. Wool house, Mr. Hann procured an appointment in 
the " Nautical Almanack" office, Greenwich. He afterwards 
became writing master in King's College, London, and, ultimately, 
mathematical master. His able works on mathematics and 
mechanical science will endear him to those of future times. He 
was not only esteemed in this country, but his works made him 
known and appreciated throughout Europe. Of kindly heart, 
generous impulses, and honourable conduct, whoever knew him 
esteemed and loved him. 

1856 (August 24). A melancholy case of drowning occurred on 
Whitley Sands, near Tynemouth, It appeared that Mr. William 
Reid, a clerk in the establishment of Messrs. Reid and Sons, gold- 
smiths, Newcastle, and a nephew of the head of the firm, while 
spending the day at Cullercoats with Mr. C. J. Reid, his cousin, 
had, along with that gentleman and one or two other parties, taken 
a walk along the sands in the afternoon. On arriving northward 
of VVhitley-terrace, he undressed to bathe, and the rest of the party 
sat down on the bank side. Being able to swim a little, Mr. Reid, 
on getting into the water, struck out, but almost immediately ap- 
peared to lose his footing, either by getting beyond his depth or 
sinking into some hollow, occasioned bv the reflux of the waves in 
the out-going tide, and about ten minutes after going into the 
water, he was swept away and drowned. This melancholy event 
excited considerable sensation. 

August 30. A handsome entertainment was given this 
evening, by the ^ Loyal Hotspur Lodge of Oddfellows, at the 
Brown Jug Inn, Stepney-bank, accompanied with the presentation 
of his portrait, to Mr. Thomas Wilson, for many years the 
respected manager of Mr. Mather's extensive and eminent estab- 
lishment in Dean-street, Newcastle, as a testimonial of their 
estimation of his services in connection with the Lodge, as well as 
of their respect for his private character. Upwards of sixty sat 
down to dinner, Mr. William Hopper in the chair ; and the 
portrait, an admirable one, by Mr. Stephen Humble, Newcastle, 
was presented by Mr. Cathrall, in a highly complimentary speech. 


He traced the services of Mr. Wilson to the Lodge since he entered 
it, in 1841, and paid a tribute to his character alike as an able 
man of business and a most estimable citizen in private life. Mr. 
Wilson made an appropriate and feeling response. A variety of 
other complimentary toasts were given, including that of Mr. 
Humble, upon whose abilities as an artist and portrait painter a 
high eulogium was passed. 

1856 (September 24,). Died, at South Park, near Tunbridge Wells, 
aged 71, Field Marshal the Right Hon. Viscount Hardin^e, 
G.C.B., &c., &c. This gallant soldier, who was born on the 30th 
of March, 1785, was the third son of the Rev, Henry Hardinge, 
rector of the valuable living of Stanhope. He was gazetted as an 
ensign as early as 1798, and steadily rose in rank. Few persons 
have held so many and such varied public employments, and on 
state occasions, when his breast was literally covered with the 
insignia of orders of knighthood, crosses, and medals, his appear- 
ance never failed to attract the attention of every spectator. 
During the whole of the Peninsular War he acted as Deputy 
Quarter-Master-General of the Portuguese army, he was wounded 
at Vimiera, was present at Rolica and Corunna, at the passage 
of the Douro Busaco, Torres Vedras, the three sieges of Badajos, 
Cindad Rodrigo, Alluera, Salamanca, Vittoria (where he was 
wounded), Pampeluna, the crossing of the Pyrenees, Nivel, Nives, 
and others. In 1815 he was attached to the Prussian army, and 
lost a hand whilst under Blucher at Ligny. On the final establish- 
ment of peace he offered his services to the Government, and was 
successively Secretary at War, Secretary for Ireland, and Master- 
General of the Ordnance. In 1820 he was elected a representative 
for the city of Durham, but resigned in July, 1830. In 1844 he 
was raised to the high dignity of Governor-General of India, 
immediately before the outbreak of the war in the Punjaub. He 
was on the field of battle from the beginning to the end of the 
contest, and greatly contributed, by the powerful aid he rendered 
to Lord Gough, to bring the war to a successful issue. The treaty 
of Lahore, which he concluded, exhibits him in the light of a 
magnanimous conqueror. On its ratification he was created Vis- 
count Hardinge of Lahore. The East India Company granted him 
a pension of 3,000 per annum, and the Parliament voted him 
5,000 and his two next successors. His final distinction, that of 
Field-Marshal, was conferred in 1855. His lordship married, in 
1821, Emily, daughter of the first Marquis of Londonderry, and 
his connection with that noble family, as well as the possession of 
the estate at Ketton, frequently brought him as a visitor into the 
county of Durham. 

September 28. Owing to continuous rains the rivers in North- 
umberland and Durham were greatly flooded. The main damage, 
on both sides of the Tyne, was to the produce of the fields, 
in many of which the stooks were swept down, and the sheaves 
washed about; and, in many cases, to such an extent was it 
brought dowu the river, that at one time the Tyne, opposite 


Newcastle Quay, was covered with floating corn. Mrs. Hall, of 
Newburn Hall Farm, was one of the most extensive sufferers, who 
had, it was said, nearly forty acres of corn swept away. The 
Yarm, the Tees, and the Wear, were equally flooded, and a great 
deal of damage was done to field produce. The Coquet, the Wans- 
beck, the. Aln, and several rivers farther north in many places 
overflowed their banks, and in flat low lying lands, the country 
presented the appearance of innumerable lakes ; roads were washed 
up, bridges rendered impassable, water dykes thrown down, and 
whole farms covered with water. A ludicrous yet perilous inci- 
dent occurred to a farm labourer, who had floated down the river 
Tees on a stack of corn. He had come from the neighbourhood 
of Yarm, and was taken to South Stockton before he could be 
removed. This, no doubt, was one of the highest floods that has 
occurred within almost living memory. 

1856 (October 7). The most destructive fire known in Stockton 
for many years broke out this morning, in the premises of Mr. 
Samuel Braithwaite, grocer, which soon completed its work of 
destruction, consuming the whole of the extensive premises, and 
doing considerable damage to the houses in the neighbourhood. 
Mr. Braithwaite and his family, who lived in the premises, were 
with difficulty rescued in their night clothes, but it was found 
impracticable to save anything with the exception of a few articles 
of jewellery. A quantity of gunpowder, which was kept on the 
premises, exploded with great violence, and blew out the front of 
the house, as well as many windows in the neighbourhood ; and 
the alarming appearance of the flames at this juncture having 
induced the authorities to send to Hartlepool for additional fire- 
engines, a messenger .was obtained, who rode the distance (fourteen 
miles) in thirty-five minutes. Two engines were immediately 
despatched, and the conflagration was subdued in about four 
hours. The damage was estimated at about 7,000. 

October 8. Died, in Northumberland-street, Newcastle, aged 
54, the Rev. Richard Clayton, M.A., Master of the Hospital of 
the St. Mary Magdalene, and Chaplain of St. Thomas' of that 
town. The deceased, who was the youngest son of the late 
Nathaniel Clayton, esq., and brother of John Clayton, esq., Town 
Clerk, had filled a large place in the estimation of the public during 
his ministry, which, since his appointment to the hospital in 1826, 
had extended over thirty years. In addition to his clerical, in 
which he was able, faithful, affectionate, and acceptable to an 
unusual degree, the rev. gentleman gave zealous and efficient 
assistance to the societies and institutions connected with the 
church, promoted large and flourishing schools in connection with 
his charge, officiated as Chaplain of the Victoria Blind Asylum, 
the Reformatory Schools, &c., and was most courteous, accessible, 
and beneficent to the poor. In every relation of life, no man, 
probably, was ever more esteemed, and his unexpected decease 
created a melancholy void throughout the entire town. 


1856 (October 21). The Tyne Sailors' Home, erected at North 
Shields for the reception of mariners, was opened by the Duke of 
Northumberland, at whose expense this magnificent and important 
structure had been erected and furnished, the cost of which was 
upwards of 8,000. The day was observed as a general holiday 
in North and South Shields : the vessels in the harbour were 
gaily decorated with flags, and every token of joy was manifested 
by the entire population. During the morning the Corporations 
of the sister boroughs met in the Town Hall, North Shields, where 
luncheon was provided, and shortly before noon a procession was 
formed, consisting of 1,500 sailors from the neighbouring ports 
(including a number of old veterans who had fought under Nelson 
and Collingwood), a large party of fishermen from Cullercoats, 
the members of the two Corporations, accompanied by the Mayors 
of Newcastle, Sunderland, and Gateshead, Mr. Ingham, M.P., 
Mr. Lindsay, M.P., and a great number of the principal ship- 
owners, &c., of the port. The procession was preceded by bands 
of music, banners, &c., and its route was lined by dense masses of 
spectators. His grace, on his arrival, was ushered into the 
spacious hall of the building, when the Mayors of Tynemouth and 
South Shields, the Sailors' Home Committee, and the pilots and 
fishermen of Cullercoats, severally presented him with congratu- 
latory addresses on the completion of his munificent gift to the 
sailors of the Tyne. His grace made a brief reply to the addresses, 
expressed his gratification at the increasing prosperity of the 
district, and trusted the institution would be found of essential 
benefit to a class who, too often, were saved from the sea to be 
shipwrecked on shore. He then declared the Home open, amidst 
the wildest enthusiasm. The noble duke was entertained at 
dinner during the afternoon in the Albion Jnn. The chair was 
occupied by A. Bartleman, esq., and the vice-chairs by Messrs. 
R. Pow, J. Dryden, M. Popplewell, and Joseph Straker. Amongst 
the 400 gentlemen present were the chief magistrates of the 
towns in the district, Sir Matthew W. Ridley, bart., Sir W. B. 
Riddell, bart., Hon. H. G. Liddell, M.P., Mr. Ingham, M.P., Mr. 
Lindsay, M.P., Mr. Headlam, M.P., Mr. H. Taylor, Captain 
Collinson, Mr. G. Burdon, Mr. T. Barker, &c., &c. The Sailors' 
Home was constructed from designs by Mr. B. Green, and is in 
the Ionic style of architecture. It is 95 feet in length by 83 feet 
in depth, and, besides having accommodation at present for sixty 
seamen and with room for ninety more, the building contains 
offices for the Marine Board, Shipping Master, Savings' Bank, 
&c., &c. The sum of 2,000, produced by public subscription, 
was invested for the endowment of the institution. 

November 10. The election of chief magistrates took place with 
the following result: Newcastle Edward Nathaniel Grace, esq., 
mayor; Joseph Armstrong, esq., sheriff. Gateshead George 
Crawshay, esq. Tynemouth William Walker, esq. South Shields 
Matthew' Stainton, esq. Sunderland George Smith Ranson, esq. 
Durham George Shaw, esq. Hartlepool Robert Hunter, esq. 

s 1 


Stockton William Richardson, esq. Morpeth James Hood, 
esq. Berwick Joseph Fleming, esq., mayor ; Alexander Kirk- 
wood, esq., sheriff. 

1856 (December 1). Died, in London, aged 51, Charles Atticus 
Monck, esq., of Humshaugh, eldest and last surviving son of Sir 
Charles Monck, hart, Belsay. 

December 25. Died, at Sheriff Hill, Gateshead, aged 85, 
Matthew Plnmmer, esq., an eminent merchant in Newcastle, and 
many years Chairman of the Newcastle and Carlisle Railway 

1857 (January 4-5J. A fearful storm prevailed along the 
Eastern coast, accompanied by rain, sleet, and snow, inflicting 
incalculable destruction to shipping, and occasioning the loss of 
many valuable lives. At Tynemouth several ships were seen to 
founder off the bar, and a number of vessels were stranded at the 
mouth of the river. The crew of the George IV, on arriving at 
Shields, reported having seen nine vessels go down with all hands 
off the Yorkshire coast. At Sunderland nine ships were lost, and 
upwards of twenty others were shipwrecked in the neighbourhood 
of Hartlepool, and seven more between Amble and North Sunder- 
land. Only a rough estimate could be formed of the losses sustained 
during the storm, as the most terrible element in the calculation 
was the number of vessels that foundered at sea. It was supposed 
that upwards of thirty had so suffered. At Castle Eden the crew 
of a vessel named the Era was saved from certain destruction by 
the exertions of Rowland Burdon, esq., and his servants, and the 
men were taken to his mansion and most hospitably attended to 
by Mrs. Burdon. 

January 20. Died, at Hexham, aged 110, Mr. John Bell. 
The deceased's descendants were 111 in number at the time of 
his death. 

February 20. An alarming explosion took place this morning 
in the ship Prince Phillippe, of Ostend, then lying in the river at 
South Shields. The vessel had received a cargo of coals on the 
18th, when the hatches had been incautiously fastened down, but 
in what manner the gas had been ignited was not ascertained. 
The vessel was completely destroyed, and a sailor, named Mars, 
was blown to a great distance and drowned in the river, and 
several of the crew were seriously injured. 

February 21. The beautiful estate and manor of Morwick, 
Northumberland, was purchased by William Linskill, esq., of 
Tynemouth Lodge, for 25,700. 

March 18. Died, at Coxhoe, aged 100 years, Mrs. Eleanor 

March 19. Died, at North Shields, in his 90th year, the Rev. 
Thomas Gillow, pastor of the Roman Catholic Church in that 
town. This worthy and venerable man passed thirty-six years of 
his long and useful life at North Shields, in the daily exercise of 
every Christian virtue, and departed from amongst his attached 
flock without suffering, and with the peace and tranquility which 


the exemplary discharge of religious duties alone can afford, 
beloved, respected, and lamented by all who knew him. 

1857 (March 21). Owing to a vote of censure passed upon the 
Government for blunders in their Eastern policy, Parliament was 
dissolved this day, and writs were immediately issued for a new 
election. The proceedings were, in this district, as follows : 


March 27. The nomination of candidates took place before 
Joseph Armstrong, esq., Sheriff. Mr. Joseph Cowen proposed 
and Mr. J. Benson seconded Thomas Emerson Headlam, esq. Sir 
John Fife and Mr. I. L. Bell proposed and seconded George Ridley, 
esq., and Mr. W. Bainbridge and Mr. Robert Walters nominated 
Peter Carstairs, esq. The result of the poll, which took place on 
the 28th, was as follows : Mr. Ridley, 2,445 ; Mr. Headlam, 
2,133; Mr. Carstairs, 1,673. 


March 27. William Hutt, esq., was re-elected without oppo- 


March 27. William S. Lindsay, esq., was returned without 
opposition, having been proposed and seconded by Mr. J. Fawcua 
and Mr. P. Dale. 


March 27. Robert Ingham, esq., was again elected. 


March 27. Mr. C. Bramwell and Mr. W. Ord nominated 
George Hudson, esq., Mr. Allison and Mr. J. T. Alcock proposed 
and seconded Henry Fen wick, esq., Mr. T. Thompson proposed and 
Mr. J. Hills seconded Ralph Walters, esq. At the close of the 
poll, on the 28th, the numbers were Mr. Fen wick, 1,123 ; Mr. 
Hudson, 1,081 ; Mr. Walters, 863. 


March 27. William Atherton, esq., and J. R. Mowbray, esq., 
were re-elected without opposition. 


March 27. Sir George Grey, bart., was again returned. 


March 27. The candidates for this borough were Dudley 
Coutts Majoribanks, esq., Matthew Forster, esq., John Stapleton, 
esq,, and Captain Gordon. The polling concluded as follows : 
Mr. Stapleton, 339 ; Mr. Majoribanks, 271 ; Captain Gordon, 269; 
Mr. Forster, 250. 


March 31. The election for this division took place atHexham, 
before W. H. Charlton, esq., High Sheriff. The candidates were 
W. B. Beaumont, esq., and the Hon. H. G. Liddell, who were 
elected without opposition. 



1857._This election took place at Alnwick on the 2nd of April. 
The old members, Lords Lovaine and Ossulston, were unopposed. 


March 30. There was no opposition to the previous members, 
R. D. Shaftoe, esq., and Lord A. Vane Tempest, and they were 
elected in the usual manner. 


March 31. The nomination of candidates took place at Dar- 
lington, before General Beckwith, the High Sheriff. Mr. Hutt, 
M.P., and Mr. R. H. Allan proposed and seconded Lord Harry 
Vane, Mr. Fowler and Colonel Stobart nominated James Farrer, 
esq., and Captain Scurfield and Mr. J. Pease proposed and seconded 
Henry Pease, esq. On the 3rd of April the result of the polling 
was as follows : Mr. Pease, 2,570 ; Lord H. Vane, 2,545 ; Mr 
Farrer, 2,091. 

April 1. The Rev. Thomas Finch found in his garden on 
the banks of the Wansbeck, at Morpeth, a sixpence of the reign 
of " Good Queen Bess." The obverse was very much worn, the 
head and letters being nearly obliterated ; the reverse, however, 
was comparatively fresh, the quarterings of the royal arms the 
fleur de lis and lion with the date, 1580, being very distinct, as 
also most of the letters of the superscription 


April 8. A melancholy circumstance occurred at West 
Boldon, resulting in the sudden and awful death of a young man, 
aged 18, son of Mr. Snowden, farmer, and his farm servant, 
William Ridley, aged 35. Young Snowden and Ridley were 
employed in a field between Newcastle and Sunderland, where they 
were seen at work apparently nothing ailing a quarter of an hour 
previously by a carter, named Henderson, who had his attention 
called to the two poor fellows in consequence of young Snowden 
calling out to him to come to their assistance. Henderson imme- 
diately left his horses, and went forward and found Ridley with 
a mark of blood on his face lying on the ground insensible ; he also 
observed a black mark round one of Snowden's eyes. He earnestly 
endeavoured to get an explanation from Snowden, but in vain. A 
passing train having called his attention to his horses he left them, 
under the impression that they had been fighting. Within a few 
minutes of Henderson leaving them, several persons hastened to 
the spot, and found them both insensible. They were carried to 
West Boldon, but they had scarcely arrived before the vital spark 
had fled, and their bodies speedily became blackened all over. 
Medical gentlemen were called in, but, unfortunately, too late to 
be of any avail. It was supposed, from the fact of some of the 
root of the Cicuta Viroso, with teeth marks in it, been found close 
to the spot where the men were lying, that they had been eating 
this poisonous substance, and so perished in the lamentable manner 
related. The occurrence caused an immense sensation and grief 
for miles around the locality. The Cicuta Virosa, or Water Hem- 


lock, causes death by inducing paralysis of the muscles used in 

1857 (May 9). About two o'clock this morning the cutting- 
house in connection with R. W. Swinburne and Co.'s glass works, 
South Shields, was discovered to be in flames. The buildings were 
completely destroyed, together with a large quantity of glass. The 
damage was estimated at about 3,000. After this disaster the 
firm relinquished the manufacture of crown glass, for which the 
Tyne was once famous, the improvements in the production of 
plate glass having rendered the former business unremunerative. 

May 13. This day the site of the old Orphan House, in 
Northumberland-street, Newcastle, was the scene of a highly 
interesting ceremony. Some little time previous, the chapel and 
schools there, which had been erected about one hundred and 
fifteen years before, by the founder of Methodism, the Rev. John 
Wesley, for divine worship and for the education of orphans and 
others that might attend, were taken down, with the view of 
having extensive Wesleyan day-schools constructed on the site. 
The proceedings of the day commenced by a public breakfast, at 
which upwards of two hundred and sixty ladies and gentlemen 
were present, in Rogerson's Exchange Hotel, John B. Falconar, 
esq., of Forres Villa, Gateshead, in the chair. The Rev. W. W. 
Stamp, superintendent of the district, Dr. Bruce, Mr. W. Brown, 
of Gateshead, John Fenwick, esq., the Rev. Mr. Lawton, of 
Sunderland, Mr. Carter, of Shields, Dr. Frost, and others, 
addressed the assemblage. The company then proceeded in 
procession to the site of the new schools where the foundation- 
stone was laid, in a highly exemplary and dexterous manner, by 
Mr. Falconar, treasurer of the building fund, who used a hand- 
some silver trowel, manufactured by Messrs. Lister and Sons, 
presented to him by Mr. Bargate. The ceremony was accompanied 
by religious exercises, and the delivery of able and interesting 
addresses by the Rev. Robert Young, President of the Conference, 
a native of the banks of the Tyne ; the Rev, John Scott, Principal 
of the Wesleyan Normal Institution, Westminster, and Chairman 
of the Wesleyan Educational Committee ; and Mr. J. B. Falconar. 
His son, Mr. Falconar, jun., secretary to the fund, also took part 
in the proceedings, which were concluded by the National Anthem. 
In the evening a public meeting was held in Brunswick-place 
Chapel, at which Mr. Ralph Wilson presided, and Mr. J. B. 
Alexander, in addition to the gentlemen already named, addressed 
the audience. The erection of the schools, master's house, and 
shops had been contracted for with Messrs. Scott and Donkin, at 
3,127, which, by the expense of the site and other outlay con- 
nected therewith, was raised to 5,810, all of which had been 
raised by subscription, the proceeds of a bazaar, &c. The children 
of the schools, after the foundation-stone ceremony, were suitably 
entertained, and the whole of the day's proceedings passed off most 

May 19. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, after 
visiting the Lake district, arrived in Newcastle, and partook of 


refreshment at the Central Station Hotel. The Prince left by the 
express train, which stopped specially for his convenience at Fence 
Houses Station, where he alighted. He was received by R. T. 
Morton, esq., and accompanied by that gentleman His Royal High- 
ness visited Houghton Pit, the property of the Earl of Durham, 
and one of the most extensive of the Lambton mines. The Prince 
having been equiped in a suitable dress immediately descended the 
shaft, and was conducted through some of the workings by Mr. 
Heckells, where his Royal Highness made numerous and pertinent 
inquiries as to the manner in which a colliery is conducted, and 
expressed himself highly gratified by his visit. After his return 
to the surface the Prince drove to Lambton Castle, where he par- 
took of luncheon, and proceeded on his journey southward during 
the afternoon. 

1 85 7(M ay 31). Two young men, named Joseph Anderson Mason, 
the son of a corn miller, near Leeds, and Joseph Peacock, of 
Bishopwearmouth Flour Mills, were drowned whilst bathing in the 
sea, near Sunderland South Dock. Two companions, who were 
also in great danger, succeeded in reaching the shore. 

June 9. The estate and Colliery of Burradon, near Newcastle, 
was purchased by Joseph Straker, esq., of Tynemouth, for 29,800. 

June 21. As three young men were bathing in the Aln, at 
Alnwick, one of them, named Francis Russell, aged 22, got beyond 
his depth, and was drowned, and a second, named Ralph Shepherd, 
aged 25, also lost his life in endeavouring to save his companion. 
The other young man, George Adamson, also tried every means in 
his power to save the other two, but in vain. The bodies were 
interred on the 23rd, when a person, named Collingwood Ander- 
son, went into the belfry of the church to toll the bell. The peal 
ceasing abruptly, Mrs. Anderson ascended the tower to ascertain 
the cause, and found her husband, with the rope in his hand quite 
dead. These melancholy occurrences created a great sensation in 
the town of Alnwick. Ralph Shepherd was a native, and was 
very generally esteemed as an amiable, steady, and promising 
young man. 

June 23. The Newcastle Races commenced this day. The 
Northumberland Plate was won by Mr. G. Forster's Underhand 
(Plumb), beating Lord Zetland's Skirmisher by half a head, El 
Hakim, Pantomime, Mongrel, Vandal, and Baroda. It was re- 
marked to be one of the finest races between first and second that 
had ever been seen. The chief incident of Thursday was that the 
" Cup" disappeared from the card, owing to the want of nomina- 
tions. The Cup was established in 1799, and was always the 
most interesting race of the meeting, until the establishment of the 
Northumberland Plate in 1833, since which date the one had 
declined in popularity as the other had advanced. 

July 5. About two o'clock this afternoon a terrific thunder- 
storm broke over the village of Hylton, near Sunderland, when a 
little boy, named George Haddock, son of Robert Haddock, sawyer, 
was killed on the spot by the electric fluid. He was returning 


home, preceded a few paces by an elder brother, who was carrying 
another little fellow on his back, these latter felt the shock, as of a 
sudden blow, which knocked off the cap of the little fellow, 
and, on turning round to pick it up, they found their little brother 
lying upon the ground dead. 

1857 (July 15). Thisbeingtheseventh anniversaryof thepassing 
of the Tyne Conservancy Act, the Commissioners determined upon, 
celebrating it by perambulating the boundaries of their jurisdiction. 
The procession left Newcastle a little after five o'clock in the 
morning, amidst ringing of bells, salutes of cannon, and the cheers 
of the spectators, accompanied by a number of steam vessels and 
gaily decorated boats. The company on passing the various 
manufactories were saluted by discharges of cannon. Upon reaching 
the Low Lights the party landed and were received by the Mayor 
and members of the Corporation of Tynemouth, the River Com- 
missioners residing at North and South Shields, and numerous 
influential gentlemen. After breakfasting at the Albion Hotel, the 
Commissioners re-embarked, and proceeded to Spar Hawk, where 
Mr. Wake, harbour-master, made the usual proclamation, setting 
forth the rights, powers, and jurisdiction of the Tyne Commis- 
sioners. Several boat races then took place, after which the 
procession returned up the river, and, upon reaching Hedwin 
Streams, the western termination of their journey, the proclama- 
tion was again made, amidst great acclamation. Boat racing and 
other amusements took place during the afternoon, near the King's 
Meadows, and everything passed off in an agreeable manner. 

July 22. An unexpected gaol delivery, in anticipation of 
the coming assizes, took the town of Newcastle by surprise this 
morning. From an investigation instituted by the magistrates, it 
appeared that two men, named Blakeston Hind and George Bell 
Winship, well-known lawless characters, who were committed to 
take their trial at the ensuing assizes, charged with garotting Mr. 
William Oley, near the Cattle Market, and robbing him of a large 
sum of money, also a ticket of leave convict, named William 
Hayes Beaumont, committed to the assizes for a garotte robbery 
at Arthur's-hill, and a fourth man, named John Harris, a tailor, 
committed to the assizes for a murderous assault upon his para- 
mour, had made their escape. The prisoners had effected their 
liberation through the inadvertence of a turnkey, who had left 
their cells unlocked. The captives, it afterwards appeared, had 
joined their bedding together into a sort of rope, and, having 
scaled the roof of a workshop, which adjoins the outer wall, they 
had lowered themselves down to the street, a height of upwards of 
twenty feet, when they were free. On the 27th, however, Beau- 
mont and Harris were captured in Carlisle, and the latter was 
sentenced to death on the following day, a sentence which was 
commuted to transportation for life. The bill against Beaumont 
was ignored. 

July 23. The foundation-stone of the new Reformatory 
Institution at Netherton, near Morpeth, for the benefit of the 


offending juveniles of the Northern Counties, was laid by the 
Eight Hon. Earl Grey, the president of the society, in the pre- 
sence of a very numerous assemblage of the magistrates and other 
influential inhabitants of the district. After performing the 
customary ceremony the noble earl briefly addressed the spectators, 
congratulating them upon the successful progress of the institution, 
and the party then adjourned to a pavilion and sat down to 
luncheon, his lordship presiding. The building, which was de- 
signed by R. B. Sanderson, jun., esq., has accommodation for 
100 boys, it is a plain but substantial erection, and 30 acres of 
ground adjacent have been taken for the industrial employment of 
the inmates. The cost of the ground and building was estimated 
at 3,350. 

1857 (July 26). This afternoon, about five o'clock, as a number 
of persons were bathing at the Short Sands, Tynemouth. one of 
them, Mr. Jacob Cresswell, of Wreckenton, having gone too far, 
was carried away by the current, and was seen struggling in great 
distress. A cry being raised Mr. James Grant, of Newcastle, and 
Mr. Hodgson, of Sunderland, who were walking in the Battery, 
instantly rushed down the banks, and without taking off their 
clothes plunged into the sea. By the time Mr. Grant had got to the 
place Mr. Cresswell had sunk. The former, however, dived down 
and brought him up, and then, with the assistance of Mr. Hodgson, 
swam ashore with him, amidst the plaudits of the spectators. 
Being in an exhausted state he had to be carried to the Rock 
Cottage, where the usual remedies for restoring animation were 
applied for about two hours, after which he was able to leave in the 
company of his friends, to the great joy of them all. Mr. Hodgson 
is well known as the " Stormy Petrel," having been the means of 
saving a great number of persons from drowning, and had received 
several medals, the last one (a gold one